Korean Bars Sell SHINee Key’s “Kibum Drink” While Using His Name And Photos — Without His Permission

We know he’s a trendsetter, but come on!

SHINee‘s Key is known for many different abilities, such as his vocals, his dancing, and his variety program skills. The SHINee member is currently a fixed cast member on MBC‘s I Live Alone, where he shows off his everyday lifestyle to all of the viewers who tune in on a weekly basis. A few weeks ago on one of the episodes, Key showed the viewers of the program a new soju (Korean alcohol) recipe that has been taking the nation by storm.

SHINee’s Key on “I Live Alone” | MBC

Nicknamed the “Kibum Drink,” the idol member shared the cool new soju recipe with fellow I Live Alone viewers.


It’s 550ml of black tea + ice + one bottle of soju. The taste is heavenly.

— SHINee’s Key explaining the “Kibum Drink” on “I Live Alone”

Upon seeing this episode, netizens and viewers flocked to their kitchens to recreate this black tea soju recipe. Due to the simplicity and tastiness of the drink, the “Kibum Drink” gained massive traction within the nation, but not without a minor controversy.

While it’s not illegal to replicate recipes, the issue arose when bars in South Korea began selling this very drink while using Key’s face and the name “Kibum Drink” — without his permission. Numerous different bars began popping up using the very appearance of Key demonstrating his recipe on I Live Alone. The bars’ social media pages censored out Key’s eyes, but it’s obvious to anyone remotely familiar with K-Pop or I Live Alone that the person in the photo is the SHINee member.

Korean bar promoting the “Kibum Drink” with Key’s censored face | @1943.gimhae/Instagram

Here is another bar that used the name “Kibum Drink” to promote their black tea soju drink.

Another Korean bar using the “Kibum Drink” as their featured drink | @insaeng.gojan/Instagram

Netizens flocked to their online communities to discuss the bars’ business etiquettes and their failure to recognize their wrongdoings.

| theqoo
  • “Whoa, don’t go to these bars.”
  • “I guess there’s nothing wrong with using and selling the recipe, but they have no manners.”
  • “They said you can pay ₩500 KRW (about $0.44 USD) if you’re curious [about the drink]….the censoring is really ridiculous ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I hope they get sued.”
  • “Wow they have no conscience.”
  • “Okay fine, using the recipe is one thing. But taking the name and using it is really insincere and lazy. Censoring his eyes like that and promoting it is really in bad taste.”
  • “The fact that their name is also ‘Kibum Drink’ is absolutely absurd ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ they didn’t even try at all ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ.”
  • “I guess you can replicate it, but using the name is not okay.”
  • “Where the heck is their conscience?”
| @bumkeyk/Instagram

According to Korean netizens, the bars have allegedly taken down all the posts pertaining to the “Kibum Drink” since they began making headlines, but have not apologized for their mistakes.

Source: theqoo