South Korean dairy firm sorry over questionable advert portraying women as cows: 'We bow our heads in apology'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 16, 2021, 04:06 PM(IST)

Some screenshots of the controversial now-deleted advert are available on social media. Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Seoul Milk said that they are accepting the matter seriously and will conduct an internal review. They also promised to take extra care to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future

A South Korean dairy giant, Seoul Milk, has apologised over a controversial advert that went viral on social media forums, with a group of users slamming the advertisement for being sexist. Instead of being creative, the ad faced backlash for rather being bizarre. 

The firm also informed that they will conduct an internal review. 

In the advertisement, a man was seen secretly filming a group of women portrayed as dairy cows. As per a report by The Korea Herald, the ad was uploaded on Seoul Milk's YouTube channel on November 29 and was removed on December 8.  

Critics have pointed out two crucial aspects of the ad that appeared problematic to them. First, the portrayal of women as dairy cows. Second, the promotion of a crime known as "molka". It means men secretly filming women without their consent, which is quite a big issue in South Korea. 

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Taking to its official website, Seoul Milk's parent company Seoul Dairy Cooperative said as quoted by The Korea Herald: "We sincerely apologise to everyone who may have felt uncomfortable due to the milk advertisement video uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Seoul Milk on the 29th of last month." 

The statement added: "We are accepting this matter seriously and will conduct an internal review, and take extra care to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. We bow our heads in apology."

Some screenshots of the controversial now-deleted advert are available on social media. In the ad, it was shown that a man is in the countryside, said to be in Cheorwon-gun, Gangwon province. He has a camera in his hand. The voiceover in the ad can be heard saying: "We finally succeeded in capturing their images in a place where nature has been kept clean." 

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In another scene, the man is at a stream, where the women clad in white dresses are drinking the water. The narrator then said that "we decided to approach them [the women] cautiously, who're drinking clean water from clean nature, eating organic diet, and living peacefully in a pleasant environment."

The ad further showed that when the man tried to get closer to the women, who transformed into cows after the man accidentally stepped on a twig. 

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