Beer selfies now against the law, say police

Beer selfies now against the law, say police

Thailand's Alcohol Control Act of 2008 came into the public spotlight last week following an outcry over celebrities who posted photos of themselves with Chang beer in what appeared to be an advertising campaign. Middle: Lady Justice or
Thailand's Alcohol Control Act of 2008 came into the public spotlight last week following an outcry over celebrities who posted photos of themselves with Chang beer in what appeared to be an advertising campaign. Middle: Lady Justice or "Justitia" the Roman goddess of Justice (the Greek goddess Themis), the allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems (Source: Wikipedia)

Which people posting beer selfies to social media will police choose to go after? Intention difficult to prove so selective enforcement of law & double standard feared.


Beer selfies now against the law, say police

Adapted from article by Atiya Achakulwisut

It is now not just celebrities or well-known figures who are barred from showing photos of themselves with alcoholic drinks on social media but ordinary people will be subject to punishment if they post beer selfies to social media

Section 32 of the 2008 Alcohol Control Act bans the advertising of alcoholic drinks and the showing of the names and logos of alcoholic drinks to promote alcoholic drinks.

People who break the law could face a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to 500,000 baht, or a daily fine of 50,000 baht throughout the period of violation.

The police have now decided on a new interpretation of the Alcohol Control Act that includes all selfies with alcohol.

In response to this, people have taken to posting photos of themselves with alcoholic drinks, or bottles of even rubbing alcohol in protest.


Although the Alcohol Control Act has been in force since 2008, the law came into the public spotlight last week following an outcry over celebrities who posted photos of themselves with Chang beer in what appeared to be an advertising campaign.

Thai Beverage, the producer of Chang beer, denied paying the two dozen or so entertainment figures to advertise its alcohol products.

Two female celebrities who reported to police on Sunday also said they were not paid to post the photos as part of an advertising campaign. However, they admitted to uploading the beer selfies on their Instagram accounts to promote the product as goodwill gestures to help a friend.

However, it is difficult to believe it was merely coincidental that some top celebrities would have chosen to upload similar photos of themselves with Chang beer and similar messages encouraging people to drink it, at the same time.


When alcohol advertising was banned, new forms of alcohol advertising evolved to avoid the ban.

The Alcohol Research Centre at the Ministry of Public Health stated in a 2013 study that alcohol advertising control is effective in curbing alcohol consumption and was deserving of being pursued further.

The same study, however, also noted that the Alcohol Control Act had changed the very nature of alcohol advertising itself.

Instead of the direct TV commercials or advertisements of the past, alcohol producers nowadays have to resort to more subtle means of persuasion and promotion.

This includes the use of feel-good social responsibility projects and celebrity influencers which not only bypass the law but develop the culture of drinking more effectively than traditional advertising.


What legal grounds could the police use to go after celebrities or ordinary people posting beer selfies to social media?

People who "intentionally" encourage other people to drink alcohol may be found to have broken the law, according to Sarawut Benjakul, head of the Institute of Legal Education of the Thai Bar Association.

However, it is difficult to prove what a person's intention is behind some action they take.

How could authorities prove that one person's uploading of a photo showing, for example, a glass of chilled champagne against the background of a setting sun had the intention of promoting the drink more than one showing, for example, a young woman grinning besides a row of liquor bottles?

Will an alcohol advertising control law which relies on a personal judgement of violators' intentions be effective?

Some predict this could lead to selective enforcement of the law and double standards

Former prime minister Anand Panyarachun once said that for Thailand to become a full democracy, one condition is that the country would have to establish rule of law, that is equal application of the law to all people.

The controversy over "selfies with alcohol" seems to illustrate this point.

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  • Act: a law passed by a country’s government - กฎหมาย
  • admitted (verb): agreed that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ
  • advertise: to tell the public about a product or a service, political candidate, etc. in order to encourage people to buy, use or support it - ลงโฆษณา
  • advertisement (noun): advert; a short piece of video or words with pictures that makes people interesting in buying some product - การโฆษณา
  • advertising: telling the public about a product or a service, political candidate, etc. in order to encourage people to buy, use or support it - การโฆษณา
  • alcohol: drinks such as whiskey, beer, wine, etc that make people feel good and become drunk - เหล้า, สุรา
  • alcoholic drink (noun): a drink containing alcohol - สุรา
  • appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • background: the part of a picture, photograph or view behind the main objects, people, etc - ฉากหลัง, พื้นหลังภาพ
  • banned: officially not allowed to do something - ถูกห้าม
  • bar: to say that something must not happen - ห้าม
  • bypass: to avoid dealing with someone or something - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • campaign: a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim - การรณรงค์
  • celebrity: someone who is famous, especially in the entertainment business - คนมีชื่อเสียง
  • chilled (adj): made very cold without freezing - แช่เย็น
  • commercial: an advertisement on the radio or on television - โฆษณาทางโทรทัศน์หรือวิทยุ
  • condition: something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข
  • consumption: the act of using energy, food or materials; the amount used - การบริโภคพลังงาน, การใช้หมดไป
  • controversy: a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง
  • culture (noun): the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม
  • curb: to control or limit something - จำกัดขอบเขต, ควบคุม
  • daily (adj.): happening, done or produced every day - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน
  • deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ
  • deserve: of something that you earn or are given because of your behavior or qualities - สมควรได้รับ
  • direct (adjective): going straight to a place (not "going to other places first" which is "indirect") - ตรงไป, ไม่เบี่ยงเบน
  • double standard: a rule or standard of good behaviour which, unfairly, some people are expected to follow or achieve but other people are not - สองมาตรฐาน
  • dozen: a group of twelve of the same thing - หนึ่งโหล
  • effective: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
  • effectively: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
  • encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
  • enforcement: the process of making sure that something happens, especially that people obey a law or rule - การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
  • entertainment: fun; behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment - ความบันเทิง, ความสนุกสนาน
  • establish (verb): to start something, e.g. a company, organisation, fund, project, etc. that will likely continue for a long time - สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง
  • evolve: to develop gradually, or to cause something or someone to develop gradually - ค่อยๆ พัฒนา
  • female: being a woman or a girl - สตรี, ผู้หญิง, เพศหญิ
  • figure: someone who is important in some way - บุคคลสำคัญ
  • form: the particular way something is, seems, looks or is presented; a type or variety of something - รูปแบบ, รูปทรง
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • further: more; additional - มากไปกว่านี้
  • grin: to smile showing your teeth - ยิ้มยิงฟัน, ยิงฟันยิ้ม
  • grounds: reasons for what you say or do - บนมูลเหตุว่า บนพื้นฐานว่า
  • illustrate: to show what something is like, or to show that something is true - แสดงให้เห็น
  • in response to: in reaction to something that has happened or been said - ตาม
  • influencer (noun): a person who influencers, i.e., a person who has the power to make somebody/something behave in a particular way - คนที่มีอิทธิพล
  • intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
  • intentionally: deliberately; done purposely - อย่างตั้งใจ
  • interpretation: an explanation of the meaning or importance of something - การตีความ
  • jail term: the length of time a person is required to spend in jail -
  • judgement (noun): an opinion that you form about something after thinking about it carefully; the act of making this opinion known to others - การตัดสินใจ, การพิจารณา, การวิจารณ์
  • legal: relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • liquor: strong alcoholic drink - สุราที่ได้จากการกลั่น
  • logo: a printed design or symbol that a company or an organization uses as its special sign - โลโก้, เครื่องหมาย
  • means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ
  • message: a piece of written or spoken information that you send to someone, especially when you cannot speak to them directly - ข่าวสาร, ข้อความ
  • ministry: a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง
  • nature: the basic quality of feature of something - ลักษณะที่แท้จริงของสิ่งต่างๆ, ธรรมชาติ
  • nowadays (noun): currently, in the present time - ในปัจจุบัน
  • ordinary: not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ
  • outcry: a strong expression of anger and disapproval about something, made by a group of people or by the public - การคัดค้านอย่างรุนแรง
  • period: a particular length of time - ระยะเวลา
  • personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
  • persuasion: the act of persuading (convincing) somebody to do something or to believe something - การชักชวน, การชักจูง
  • post: to send information, in this case, to a website -
  • predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
  • producer: a person, a company or a country that grows or makes food, goods or materials - ผู้ผลิต
  • promote: to encourage or support something - สนับสนุน
  • promotion: activities done in order to increase the attendance at an event or sales of a product or service - การส่งเสริม
  • protest: to make a strong complaint or disagreement - ประท้วง
  • prove (verb): to show to be - ปรากฏ, แสดง
  • public: the public; all people; the people in general - มหาชน, ประชาชน
  • public health (noun): the health of all the people in a country, city or community and their health issues; also the name of a government department - การสาธารณสุข
  • punishment: an act or a way of punishing somebody - การลงโทษ
  • pursue: to work at something or carry it out - ทำให้ลุล่วง
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • resort to: to do something that you do not want to do because you cannot find any other way of achieving something - หันมาใช้
  • responsibility: a moral duty to behave in a particular way - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • rubbing alcohol: alcohol for external use on the skin consisting of a poisonous solution of isopropyl alcohol or denatured ethanol alcohol for external use only -
  • rule of law (noun): the condition in which all members of society, including its rulers, accept the authority of the law - หลักนิติธรรม
  • selective (adjective): careful about who they choose, choosy, discerning, discriminating - ซึ่งเลือกเฟ้น, ซึ่งคัดเลือกอย่างระมัดระวัง, ช่างเลือก
  • selfie (noun): a photo you take of yourself or of yourself with someone else -
  • similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน
  • social (adjective): related to society, to people and the way they are connected to each other and interact with each other - เกี่ยวกับสังคม
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • spotlight (noun): the centre of public attention - จุดสนใจของผู้คน, เป็นที่สนใจ
  • state: to formally write or say something, especially in a careful and clear way - บอกกล่าว, แถลง, กล่าว
  • study: a project that looks at some subject in great detail and produces a report to share the information - งานวิจัย
  • subject to: affected by - ได้รับผล
  • subject to: to require something to be done; to make somebody/something experience, suffer or be affected by something, usually something unpleasant - ต้องมีการ..., ทำให้ได้รับ
  • subtle: not obvious - เบาบาง
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • upload: to send documents or programs from your computer to a larger system using the Internet - ใส่ข้อมูลจากคอมพิวเตอร์ส่วนบุคคลไปยังเครื่องส่วนกลาง
  • violation: an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc. - การฝ่าฝืน
  • violator: a person who goes against or refuse to obey a law, an agreement, etc. - ผู้ฝ่าฝืน, ผู้ละเมิดกฎ
  • well-known (adj.): famous, everyone knows about it - ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียง, ซึ่งเป็นที่รู้จักกันดี, เป็นที่รู้จัก, เลื่องลือ
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