By Watchiranont Thongtep
TV CHANNELS have returned to normal programming after televising the procession ceremony of His Majesty the King’s body from Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace for the official mourning ceremony last night.
Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday that networks would simulcast from the Television Pool of Thailand when special programmes are televised concerning His Majesty the King’s rituals.
Lt Gen Sansern, also acting chief of the Public Relations Department, earlier requested broadcasters to suspend their normal programmes for 30 days to help simulcast related programmes from the government media pool for 24 hours.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)’s Broadcasting Committee also issued a guideline for free-to-air TV broadcasters during this 30-day period.
Under this guideline, TV programmes and advertising must not contain improper scenes such as entertaining, dancing or violent acts. TV presenters, hosts and announcers must dress in white or black and act properly.
As well, information related to the King’s passing must be approved by authorised bodies. Criticism or analysis is not allowed. Pictures and the tone of broadcasts must be proper. TV programmes must be stopped and simulcasts from the media pool must be shown when required for special programmes.
In response to the government’s guidelines, the media and entertainment sector jointly postponed and cancelled all entertainment-related activities and events for one month to pay tribute to the King’s demise.
Triluj Navamarat, president of the Media Advertising Association of Thailand (MAAT) told The Nation that after studying the announcement from the government regarding media trading and advertising during the national mourning period, advertising via mainstream media such as television, radio and newspapers would be cancelled for at least three days. Entertainment programmes would be replaced by documentaries about His Majesty the King and His Majesty’s royal duties or informative/news programmes.
On Thursday night, media associations and related media owners convened an urgent meeting regarding the guidelines.
The guidelines were circulated internally among media owners, plus media outlets and advertising agencies and their clients.
Under the original guideline for media owners, all TV and radio programmes would be stopped and simulcast from Channel 11 for at least seven days until further notice.
As well, all newspaper content and ads must be published in grey, while magazine covers must also be printed in grey. The colour of inside content is still subject to government direction.
This guideline also applies to online and out-of-home media. Digital billboards will shut off power at night, while in-store and transit light boxes will be turned off.
YouTube will shutdown for at least seven days while other websites must be grey and other Thai media outlets will likely follow the government announcement.
Meanwhile, media and advertising agencies have to stop all commercial advertising for three days while event organisers must stop all on-ground activities and entertainment for 30 days.
The guidelines also suggest that it is up to advertising agencies to change existing spots or ad placements into condolence advertisements.
In response to the guidelines, social media giant Facebook announced that it had turned off all ads for Thailand during the period of mourning. However, ads would continue as normal in other countries and Thai advertisers could continue to run ads outside the country.
BEC-Tero Entertainment will postpone four events scheduled to be held in October and November. For example, Lipovitan-D Presents Moderndog 22 on October 15, the King’s Cup FB Battery River Kwai Half Marathon Thailand Championship 2016 on October 16, Thailand Music League 2016 on October 22 and Grand Ex’s Grand Concert Hua Hin on November 26.
GMM Grammy’s One 31 digital TV station announced it would postpone its press conference on MX Muay Xtreme yesterday, while sister company “Scenario” has cancelled “Lod Line Mangkorn The Musical” for all of this month.
Several scheduled business events have been cancelled as the one-year mourning period began for the passing of His Majesty the King.
The Cabinet has resolved to seek cooperation from all sectors to refrain from holding entertainment shows and activities for a month.
The events, cancelled or postponed during this period of mourning include:
SCB Securities (SCBS)’s media briefing over the outlook of the stock market in the fourth quarter of 2016, scheduled to be held Monday (October 17), has now been been postponed. A new date has yet to be announced.
Citibank’s group interviews on ‘trend of asset management’ scheduled to be held on Tuesday (October 18) has now been postponed. A new date has yet to be announced.
The Office of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has cancelled its press conference “ITU Telecom World 2016” on Tuesday (October 18).
Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Limited has cancelled its event “be BOX” on Tuesday (October 18).
Krungthai Bank has cancelled “KTB Care Movie Party : Doctor Strange” scheduled for October 26 at Paragon Cineplex and at BigC Buriram on October 29