Fans protest Indonesia’s ban on Blackpink ad featuring miniskirted bandmates
By Hong Dam-young
Blackpink has become a household name in Indonesia, but fans were astonished recently when the country slapped a ban on a television ad featuring the singers in miniskirts.
On Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported that the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission had ordered 11 domestic TV stations to block the commercial on Tuesday, calling it indecent and saying it violated the Muslim country’s moral norms.
The commission was quoted as saying that broadcasters had an obligation to pay attention to norms and standards of “decency,” as stated in the commission’s guidelines and standards.
The 30-second ad, titled “Shopee Road to 12.12 Birthday Sale,” featured the four members of Blackpink singing and dancing to promote Shopee, an Indonesian online retailer.
The report also said more than 100,000 people had signed a petition calling for a ban on the ad, complaining that it was “vulgar.”
Following the ban, commission head Hardly Stefano released a statement, saying, “Companies need to be careful when they’re making a commercial that they don’t associate their product with something Indonesians see as negative.”
But the ban caused a furor among fans, who started their own online petition in support of the ad. About 81,434 people have signed so far.
Many fans argued that the ban was “ridiculous” and “narrow-minded,” saying many TV shows could be considered morally offensive.
“Our opinion on the whole issue is, we (and we‘re sure most of the Indonesian Blinks too) were surprised when the ad-ban petition surfaced. Some people found their outfits quite revealing and afraid it will ’ruin the youth‘ or something. In fact, the ad itself had passed the censorship review, so the ad, was really harmless,” a representative of the act‘s Indonesian fan club told The Korea Herald.
“As for the petitions defending the group, we think Indonesian Blinks are really proactive and supportive.”
The controversy comes amid Blackpink’s ongoing commercial success in the Southeast Asian country, where it is now known as the “national girl group of Indonesia.”
The four-piece act was appointed as Shopee’s first regional brand ambassador earlier in December.
Ad by Shopee featuring Blackpink (Shopee)