BANGKOK Jan 8 An advertisement for a
skin-whitening product in Thailand has drawn criticism on social
media and sparked debate over beauty ideals and advertising
standards by claiming you "need to be white to win".
A pale complexion is highly valued in Thailand, particularly
by women, and is associated with a high social status. Darker,
tanned skin is associated with lower class people who work
outside in the fields.
The advertisement, for a skin-whitening pill called "Snowz",
made by Thai brand Seoul Secret, and posted on video website
YouTube, features one actress whose skin gets darker next to a
rival with light skin.
"You just need to be white to win," runs the tagline.
Some members of Thai-language forum Pantip.com were dismayed
"I'm perfectly fine being dark-skinned and now you're saying
I've lost? Hello? What?" said member 1575141.
"Suggesting people with dark skin are losers is definitely
racist," said another user.
It is the latest in a series of advertisements deemed
insensitive that have drawn criticism in Thailand.
"Thai craze for whiteness rears its ugly head again," a
prominent social-media commentator who goes by the name of
Kaewmala posted on Twitter.
The video was removed from YouTube later on Friday.
Wattanapak Jinsirivanich, managing director of Yulihan Group
(Thailand), the company that produces Seoul Secret beauty
products, apologised and said the advert was not meant to stir
"We did not intend to create this issue," he said. "We would
like to apologise and we will fix it."
"Our message is to take good care of yourself and continue
to do so."
(Additional reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by