Last month the government of Seoul city has asked alcohol producers, advertisers and entertainment firms to refrain from using pop stars in alcohol advertisements. A city official said that when companies don’t comply, the city will consider policy changes to induce changes.
“Becoming a pop star is ranked as the No. 2 future dream of our children. We believe that hiring pop stars, who exert great influence on teens, for alcoholic beverages is tantamount to dereliction of their duty to protect the future generation,” said Kim Kyung-ho, a city official to The Korea Herald.
The city cited Nielsen Media Research data, saying that the number of alcohol advertisements appearing on TV, radio and print media from January through November year numbered 189,566 in 2012. Or 574 commercials per day on average.
Korea knows regulations of the time when alcohol ads can be shown on television, but it is currently permitted to use pop stars as models. In Korea using pop stars as spokes persons for alcohol campaigns seem to be a hot trend, as 17 of 22 models who appear in major alcohol ad campaigns are pop stars. More than 93 percent of the ads were beer ads. Eighty-five percent of them are aired on cable TV.
Recently, a producer of vodka-like beverage soju released a TV commercial in which members of three top-ranking girl groups face off in a dance battle. The authorities banned showing of the clip to those under 19.
According to EUCAM contacts at the Seoul Center for Alcohol and Gambling Problems several alcohol producers have withdrawn certain ads from internet, TV, and/or movie theaters. Some pop and movie stars also have publically pledged that they will never promote the sale of alcohol.
Over the last year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been making great strides in prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm, this includes taking a strong stance against alcohol marketing. For instance, the government has been involved in banning alcohol advertisements on public buses and bus stops. EUCAM applauds the initiative of this local government as well as further developments.
Source: The Korean Herald 12/17/12