Thailand bans advertising for Korea King frying pan

Thailand bans advertising for Korea King frying pan
PHOTO: THE NATION

The Consumer Protection Board on Wednesday banned advertising for the Korea King frying pan, saying that commercials overstated the quality of the pan relative to its price.

Veeraphong Boonyophas, chairman of a committee under the Direct Selling and Direct Marketing Act, said the committee had adopted a resolution demanding the immediate cessation of Korea King advertising.

He said the committee found the advertised price of Bt15,000 (SGD$600) to Bt18,000 to be a "fake original price" since the pan was never sold at those prices after sharp discounts were introduced.

The advertisement gave consumers an incorrect impression about the price and quality of the pan, Veeraphong said, adding that it was an unfair trading practice that damaged the public interest, justifying the advertising ban.

The board is also investigating the quality of the pan, with the results expected to be publicised soon, he said. Advertising claimed that the pan had an eight-layer coating, but an initial investigation found that its "gold series" had a five-layer coating and the "diamond series" had only a two-layer coating, Veeraphong said.

The board had already put a statement on its website, saying it was looking into Korea King advertising.

Wizard Solution Co registered the direct-sales business in January 2016 and imported the Korea King brand pan with a stated retail price of Bt15,000.

In October, Wizard Solution informed the Consumer Protection Board that the Korean manufacturer wanted to set a standard price of Bt15,000, but Wizard Solution offered consumers a promotion of "buy one, get one free" at the price of Bt3,300, according to the board's statement.

The wholesale price of imported Korea King pans ranged from Bt286 in 2015 to Bt358 as of January, according to a Customs Department document obtained by the board.

The company hired TV celebrity Vuthithorn "Woody" Milintachinda as the face of the Korea King advertising campaign. Wizard Solution's ad spending was among the top three in Thailand last year.

Chaiyuth Kamkhun, deputy director-general of the Customs Department, said the tariff on imported pans from South Korea had been waived due to the free trade agreement between ASEAN and South Korea. He said several hundred thousand pans were imported from South Korea each year.

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