Seoul Milk, the company behind some of the classic Korean milk flavors, has recently come under fire for its newest commercial for its allegedly sexist content.
On November 29, the dairy company uploaded a commercial onto their official YouTube channel with the title, “What are their true identities that were hidden under a veil…?” And while the beginning of the commercial starts off somewhat normal, the Seoul Milk advertisement took a quick and strange turn.
In the now deleted video, viewers can see a male entering a forest with a large commercial-sized camera. He stops behind a large rock to begin filming an unknown target.
Following a narration that says, “we managed to successfully capture them in a pristine, clean place,” viewers were finally able to see what the narrator was talking about. When the camera cleared its blurriness, the commercial unveiled several women dressed in white hanging out at a stream.
Up until this moment, it seemed like the women were doing some semi-normal outdoor activities. Some were doing yoga poses, some were drinking water and the others were minding their own business—until they heard a branch snap from where the cameraman was hiding. It was then that the women all turned into…cows.
The severe backlash that followed came quickly, as thousands of comments were left directly under the video, as well as on different social media platforms and online communities. Not only did netizens have a problem with the fact that women were being compared to cows, they also had an issue with the parallelism of the man filming behind the rock to molka (illegal filming)—which has been an ongoing problem in South Korea.
…to different online communities, the Seoul Milk criticisms continued weeks after the video went live.
- “I want to barf. F*ck I’m never drinking Seoul Milk.”
- “Seoul Milk is disgusting. I’m never buying it again.”
- “I bought some today…….bye. Maeil Milk [competitor] fighting.”
- “I cannot understand how they even thought of something like this to make. I want to vomit.”
Seoul Milk released an official statement following the scrutiny, apologizing to “to all those who felt uncomfortable” after watching their commercial. Despite their efforts, however, the backlash has remained strong.
This is our apology regarding the organic milk commercial that was uploaded onto YouTube.
We deeply apologize to all those who felt uncomfortable with the milk commercial that was uploaded onto Seoul Milk’s official YouTube channel on November 29.
We will take this matter seriously and internally. We will be more careful and pay more attention in an effort to take measures to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
To those who felt uncomfortable from the commercial, we bow our heads in apology.
— Seoul Milk
You can watch the controversial advertisement down below.