YG, JYP, And SM Entertainment Investigated On Suspicions Of Unfair Sales Tactics Regarding Idol Photocards

Many companies have been using this “random photocard” method.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission has stepped up to launch an investigation on large entertainment agencies for the unfair sales of photocards.

Many agencies have begun selling random photocards with their albums in recent years. While this initially did not pose a huge problem, the increasing amount of versions and huge numbers of members have led to fans buying albums in bulk to raise their chances of getting the member that they like. This tactic is akin to attaching other goods to the desired good for sale, which unfairly forces the consumer to purchase both goods to get the one that they want.

Various photocards from NCT 2020’s album. | eBay

Consumers have already been riled up by this photocard sales tactic which allegedly “makes use of the fans’ love.” On August 2, 2023, according to an insider, YG Entertainment was investigated under this suspicion. SM Entertainment was investigated on July 31, 2023, while JYP Entertainment was investigated on August 1, 2023. This comes amidst the increasing complaints about excessive spending on photocards.

Idol group NCT was brought up as an example. For NCT 2020’s album, close to 50 different photocards were launched with the album. One cannot preview which photocard is in the album before purchase. Fans purchased anywhere from between tens of albums to hundreds, just to get the photocard they desired.

Photocards in NCT 2020’s album. | SM Entertainment

This has led to yet another social media trend, called “album unboxing” or “album kkang,” where fans unbox multiple copies, showing off their pulls. Unsurprisingly, this has led to even more excessive purchase from other fans.

Investigations were called up to make sure that the process of manufacture and sales are handled fairly. Many companies were suspected of altering production numbers to create rarer photocards amongst the same set, promoting more sales.

On the other hand, officials who were asked for a statement on the matter rejected media requests, claiming that all investigations would be handled in confidentiality.

Source: Datum News
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