Advertisers mull pulling support for Sorayuth

Advertisers who support news anchor Sorayuth Suthassanachinda's news programmes are talking about withdrawing their support as long as he remains on air at Channel 3 while facing embezzlement allegations.

Sorayuth: Ch 3 urged decide on his future

The chairman of an anti-corruption group allied to several major businesses has asked Channel 3 to take a stand on whether Sorayuth should step aside from his presenting duties now that a corruption agency has found against him in an embezzlement case.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission ruled last month that he embezzled money in an advertising revenue sharing deal with the public broadcaster Mcot Plc.

Pramon Suthivongs, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Network whose members include conglomerates such as Siam Commercial Bank, Toshiba and Siam Cement Group (SCG), said the network has written to BEC World Plc, the operator of Channel 3, asking it to take a stand on the Sorayuth case.

If the broadcaster does not respond to the group's urgings, the network will consider boycotting his show.

"Since the anti-corruption network consists of major companies which support good governance, we cannot sit idly by and do nothing when the anti-corruption agency has already ruled," Mr Pramon said.

Mr Pramon said the companies agreed it is impossible to cancel long-term ad agreements with Channel 3.

The companies, however, will review the ad agreements they have with Channel 3 on Friday and consider their next move.

Mr Pramon said he has consulted Toyota Motor Thailand, of which he is board chairman, SCG and Toshiba about the boycott.

"I would like whoever can reach Sorayuth to ask him to step aside. It will reduce the pressure. I only want our society to become better, cleaner," he said.

"I am not singling him out. If he shows the responsibility now, he will receive love and faith from the public and he will regain his fame in time," Mr Pramon said.

Executives from both Toyota Motor Thailand and Toshiba Thailand indicated that each company has yet to decide whether or not to boycott sponsorship.

Meanwhile, an executive at Central Department Store Co said the company plans to maintain its sponsorship of the programme.

The NACC ruling said Sorayuth and two others from Mcot Plc conspired seven years ago to withhold 138 million baht in advertising revenue sharing from Mcot. Sorayuth has denied any wrongdoing.

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