K-Netizens React To Popular Fourth-Generation Female Idol Being Chosen For An Alcohol Advertisement


Recently, controversy over young celebrities appearing as models for alcohol advertisements has resurfaced after a popular female idol member was chosen as the new face for the new beer KRUSH. The liquor industry has refrained from using advertisement models for idols under the age of 24 for reasons such as implicitly influencing youth drinking. In fact, a related bill is pending in the National Assembly.

Most recently, Lotte Chilsung selected aespa’s Karina as the new model for their new product, KRUSH. With this, there is much talk about the brand selecting an idol popular among teenagers, as featuring popular idols and celebrities as models has significantly influenced teens.

Aespa’s Karina selected as the new model for Lotte Chilsung Beverage’s new beer KRUSH. | Lotte Chilsung Beverage/Facebook

This is also quite different from the actions of liquor companies such as OB Beer and Hite Jinro, which refrain from using idols under the age of 24 or who are popular among teens.

The media outlet states that choosing Karina as the model is not a “legal” problem, as anyone over the age of 19 in Korea can drink according to the Youth Protection Act.

Previously in 2015, controversy arose when singer IU, then 22 years old, served as a model for soju brand. The National Assembly pushed for an amendment to the so-called “IU Act” that would prohibit celebrities under the age of 24 from appearing in alcohol-related advertisements.

However, it was not passed due to some public criticism that it infringed on the freedom of choice of occupation stipulated in the Constitution, and the National Health Promotion Act, which contains these contents, is currently pending in the National Assembly for a long time.

With the bill pending in the Legislative and Judiciary Committee, alcohol advertising is currently legal for anyone over the age of 19, but the liquor industry has refrained from using advertising models under the age of 24 or idols who are likely to influence youth.

In fact, according to the industry, OB Beer and Hite Jinro are currently not hiring celebrities under the age of 24 as mainstream advertising models.

OB Beer is selecting singer and actress Suzy (29 years old) as its Hanmac brand model. Hite Jinro is also promoting singer IU (30 years old) as the Soju Chamisul model, actor Son Seokku (40 years old) as the Beer Kelly model, and actor Gong Yoo (44 years old) as the Terra model.

An official from OB Beer said, “Regardless of age, we are refraining from using young people who are popular with teenagers as advertising models, as they can influence youth drinking.” They added, “The global headquarters also limits the age of alcohol advertising models to over 25 years old. Accordingly, we are selecting models in Korea who are over 24 years old.”

An official from Hite Jinro also said, “Because the advertising time for alcoholic beverages is limited, we do not target youth.” They added, “We are selecting advertising models by considering various issues.”

Lotte Chilsung previously selected BTS, a popular global idol, as its model when it launched Cloud Raw Draft in June 2020.

Lotte Chilsung explained that since the new product KRUSH is a beer targeting young people such as the MZ generation, they selected Karina, which is popular among young people.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage’s new beer, KRUSH. | Lotte Chilsung Beverage

A Lotte Chilsung official said, “As Krush is a beer targeting young people, we chose Karina, an idol singer who is popular among that generation. Unlike her cold and sophisticated appearance, Karina has an easy-going personality and is a model preferred by young people.”

Netizens that saw this didn’t see a problem with her being the model as she was of appropriate age.

Netizen comments | theqoo Netizen comments | theqoo

“She’s not underage…” “Isn’t it fine if she’s born in 2000? Although I don’t really like female idols doing alcohol ads..” “She’s old enough to be applying for jobs if she’s 23.” “I wish they would ban alcohol ads just like how they don’t use celebs for smoking ads.” “People around that age drink the most, it’s not like she’s born in 2004…she’s born in 2000.” “IVE’s Ahn Yujin is three years younger and she’s already filmed an alcohol ad. Didn’t she show the alcohol she was advertising in a live once? I wish they’d just get rid of drinking live broadcasts.” “I don’t like both drinking broadcasts and advertisements.” “I don’t see the problem…unless they banned alcohol ads altogether.” “I don’t like these types of ads, but I mean, she’s not 20…she’s 24.” “I don’t see what the big deal is…she’s 24…”  What are your thoughts? 

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