The army chief has ordered all units and organisations under his command to stop buying products via the Lazada online platform, to protect the royal institution and in protest against a controversial video promotion.
Col Sirichan Nga-thong, deputy spokeswoman, said Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae issued the order to army units, agencies and businesses nationwide on Monday. It prohibits them from ordering products via Lazada.
The army chief also banned Lazada vehicles from entering army areas. The order took immediate effect.
"It is an expression of intention to protect the (royal) institution and impose a social measure against an organisation that engaged in improper conduct and caused disunity in Thai society," she said.
The content of the Lazada promotion offended the institution and seriously hurt the feelings of Thai people, according to Col Sirichan.
The order is a response to an online advertisement by transgender influencer Aniwat Prathumthin, better known by her social media alias of Nara Crepe Katoey.
Nara and another woman appeared in an online commercial for e-commerce platform Lazada which was criticised as mocking the disabled.
The ad promoted Lazada's 5.5 shopping festival campaign. Intersect Design Factory, a media agency, was hired to coordinate the production of videos to promote the event through social media and influencers.
Nara was contacted by Intersect to perform in the ad, which was shown on her TikTok account.
The video features Nara and a wheelchair-bound woman, identified as Thidarat Chaokuwiang, having fun and joking with each other. It drew criticism from many netizens, some of whom believed the outfit worn by the disabled person was an oblique reference to the royal family.
Both Intersect and Lazada later issued an apology and removed the promotion.
Army chief Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae