The controversy surrounding Davichi member Kang Min Kyung‘s brand Àvie Muah is only growing deeper as netizens dig more and more into the details of the brand and its owner.
Previously, we reported how the singer had landed herself in the middle of a controversy after uploading a job posting for her brand on her Instagram.
Netizens were angered to see how Àvie Muah was paying much less than industry standards to senior-level employees. But later, Kang Min Kyung took to Instagram to clarify that the job posting had mistakenly included entry-level salary information.
I was shocked by all of the DMs, so I checked the job posting. And I was even more shocked… Due to the mistake of our employee, the CS posting stated our entry-level salary. Àvie Muah considers applicants’ experience and previous salary in the hiring process. We are waiting for precious people to work with us.
In her lengthy explanation, she outlined the benefits and securities provided to her employees at Àvie Muah while promising to work hard to create better working environments for them in the future.
Today, I am writing to you not as Davichi’s Kang Min Kyung, but as the CEO of Àvie Muah.
Hours earlier, I uploaded a job posting for a Customer Service associate that mistakenly reflected the salary of a non-experienced entry-level employee.
The post was corrected immediately upon discovering the mistake. I would like to apologize for not checking the post thoroughly.
Once hired by Àvie Muah,
For experienced employees we negotiate salaries based on their previous earnings.
For non-experienced, contract workers, we pay minimum wage but re-negotiate the salary after one year.
Àvie Muah is still a growing brand, and therefore, I can only promise to work towards better compensation for workers, and for this, my heart is heavy.
Currently, Àvie Muah offers four major insurances, benefits per labor laws, with one month of paid leave upon three years of employment, flexible working hours, monthly/annual leave, food and snacks, Àvie Muah products, employee discounts, and provide gift cards for holidays, New Years, and birthdays.
As the company grows, we will continue to share benefits with employees and will work towards building a better work environment.
Although to many, I am lacking as a CEO, I will work towards being able to offer better pay and compensation to Àvie Muah’s employees.
Thank you for reading this.
— Kang Min Kyung
But dissatisfied netizens dug deeper and discovered some discrepancies in her spending pattern for personal stuff versus for employees. They pointed out how the singer herself uses a luxury desk worth ₩7.00 million KRW (about $5,580 USD) at the office while she chose to go for sponsored desks from a brand. Kang Min Kyung herself explained in a YouTube video on her channel that she reached out to the company to get sponsorship since paying the cost out of pocket was too much.
The disparity between her own lifestyle and the wages and benefits offered by her brand has raised eyebrows while many netizens tagged it as the dark reality of small and medium-scale businesses in South Korea. Many criticized her luxurious personal life while she depended on brand sponsorships for even the air purifier in her office. Some also came to the singer’s defense, arguing that her personal expenses could very possibly be funded by her activities as a singer and not as the company’s CEO.
- “I feel like she’s pretty dumb. This whole company is just her wanting to play CEO princess as someone who’s never worked as a staff in her life.”
- “No, but she’s not even debuting as a professional designer like Victoria Beckham. She has no sense of style, and yet she has a clothing shopping mall LOL what a disgrace.”
- “Kang Min Kyung really loves sponsorships. She spends generously on herself but is stingy when it comes to others.”
- “A person who buys herself a desk with ₩7.00 million KRW (about $5,650 USD) but can’t buy her employee a desk because it’s too much, you can only guess how much attention she’d be paying to the price and quality of the clothes she is selling.”
Kang Min Kyung’s company currently has a turnover rate of 52%, which also reflects the general state of small-scale businesses in the country. According to Job Korea, the resignation rate in small and medium-sized companies is much higher (14.9%) compared to large companies (8.6%). The Ministry of Employment and Labor‘s recent survey revealed that most of these companies are unable to hire replacements because the wages are not proportionate to the demanded workload.
Though it falls under the same curve as the other small and medium-scale businesses in the country, being associated with a well-known celebrity like Kang Ming Kyung has definitely brought more negative attention to Àvie Muah recently. Now it remains to be seen if the singer will be able to turn the situation around.