Facebook temporarily drops ads in Thailand

Dhaka,  Thu,  08 December 2016
Published : 16 Oct 2016, 17:25:52

Facebook temporarily drops ads in Thailand

In an unusual show of respect for Thailand's fallen leader, Facebook has opted to block all ads in the country for an undetermined length of time.

The social network said the move is in observance of a "cultural custom" as the nation mourns the late Thai King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday at the age of 88, reports UNB quoting Mashable.

"Thailand is in a period of mourning due to the death of the King and removal of ads is a cultural custom," a spokesperson wrote to advertisers in a blog post. "We don't yet know the duration of the mourning period. We'll keep you posted of any additional details as they become available."

As part of his remembrance, many Thai citizens are wearing only dark colors this week, and several websites and television stations have gone completely black-and-white. Monochrome footage of the widely revered leader's life has dominated the airwaves.

The decision to temporarily drop ads seems to be a first for Facebook, which has cultivated a sizable market in the country. The platform boasts an estimated 37 million Thai users — mostly on mobile — who tend to post three times more frequently than the average user worldwide, according to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Perhaps as a result, Facebook ads have proven particularly successful in the country, according to a report in Thai newspaper The Nation.

Research firm Emarketer pegged the yearly Facebook ad spend in Thailand at $81.7 million, meaning that the web giant could be forgoing as much as $6.8 million per month in the blackout — though that estimate is rough. –RH
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