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Ad agency sued by government in Myanmar for using police uniform in ad without permission

Ad by Mango Marketing in MyanmarAn affiliate of WPP advertising agency JWT has landed in hot water in Myanmar for using a police uniform in an ad campaign without the authorities’ permission.

Mango Marketing produced a TV commercial for local client Vicee, a vitamin supplement, which has caused a storm in social media for featuring a performer in a traffic policeman’s uniform dancing on a busy road.

It is illegal to use a police uniform in an ad without official permission in Myanmar, and the filming of the traffic cop was deemed to be culturally inappropriate by members of the public and the authories.

Mango’s general manager Daw Khin Thet Khine, the commercial’s director Zaw Ko Ko and the dancer in the ad Min Min Htun are all being pursued in court by the government.

This video shows the dancing man in uniform directing traffic, which was to be featured in the ad.

The ad never aired, and the conclusion of the court case is expected by the end of the year.

A blog post, written in Burmese, has covered the story.

JWT and Mango declined to comment.

Mango launched in Myanmar in 2004 by Burmese entrepreneurs Lynn Lynn Tin Htun and Aye Hnin Swe. Its motto is to  “speak the language” of the client’s audience.

The agency struck a deal to represent the JWT brand in April this year. JWT does not have an equity stake in the agency, but helps with training and refers its clients to Mango when they need a local presence.

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