NewJeans‘ appearance on SBS‘s music show Inkigayo has become a controversial topic after the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KOCSC) told the media that they are reviewing the performance after receiving complaints about passive advertising in it.
On July 30, NewJeans performed their single “ETA” on Inkigayo. During the performance, the members started filming themselves on stage with an iPhone 14 Pro on live TV. The performance broadcast then switched between the feeds from the Inkigayo cameras and the iPhone camera. The group ended the song by taking a selfie on stage.
Though pulling out the iPhone mid-performance was a surprise element of their performance, it was not a random addition. For the video production of “ETA,” NewJeans collaborated with Apple. The entire music video for the track was shot with an iPhone 14 Pro, and though initially there was skepticism around the news, fans were eventually impressed by how seamlessly the phone blended into the theme of the video.
But the Inkigayo performance received mixed reactions from netizens. While some found it refreshing the way they incorporated the brand deal into their video and performance, others felt that they were overly advertising the product. There were also concerns regarding how the group’s endorsement tactics might affect young teens, who make up a significant part of their fandom demographics.
It looks like these concerns were formally conveyed to the KOCSC. NewJeans’ performance lasted around 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and about 20 seconds of it were spent on indirect advertising of the iPhone. It was clear that the stage direction was curated around the phone, as it included close-up shots of the product to make its name visible on the screen.
A report by iNews24 on August 9 stated that an official from KOCSC has confirmed that the committee has received complaints regarding NewJeans’s performance on Inkigayo and is currently in the process of reviewing the matter.
According to the regulations on broadcasting deliberation and the Broadcasting Act of South Korea, indirect advertising refers to the act of obstructing the visual flow through passive exposure to advertised products, etc., which are unrelated to the development or design of the corresponding broadcasting program’s main content. Additionally, if the advertisement affects the content and composition of the broadcasting program, it is also subject to deliberation.
In case the KOCSC is flagged about a potential case of indirect advertising, they review the formal aspects, including the degree of exposure and the time span of broadcasting. A final decision is made through deliberation by KOCSC or a plenary meeting.
Did NewJeans’ brand endorsement strategy go too far this time?
You can watch the performance in concern right here: