‘Snowdrop’ backlash: Multiple brands cancel sponsorships and apologize to citizens

Jung Hae In and BLACKPINK's Jisoo in 'Snowdrop' poster (Image via IMDb)
Jung Hae In and BLACKPINK's Jisoo in 'Snowdrop' poster (Image via IMDb)

As Snowdrop continues to be one of the most controversial K-dramas, the backlash has caused multiple brands to cancel their sponsorship deals. Some brands cite that they were unaware of the script, while others state that they were informed that “problematic parts” would be removed.

As per the 300k South Korean citizens who signed the ban petition and multiple online users, Snowdrop distorts a significant part of history. Considering the severe criticism, brands are increasingly pulling out their sponsorships from the k-drama.

Nearly a dozen brands pulled out their sponsorship after ‘Snowdrop’ landed in controversy

Korean netizens understand the seriousness of the issue and have compiled a list of brands that announced their cancelation from the series. While nearly a dozen brands released statements, many sponsors continue to stay, which makes citizens wonder if they find no issues with the historical inaccuracy of the drama or not.

With the backlash for the drama, comes a boycott of sponsored products. Fearing a bad reputation for their brands, P&J Group was one of their biggest producers who backed out recently. It ended up creating a ripple effect. The CEO stated she was “unaware of the content” and that their content will be removed from the drama’s third episode onwards.

Multiple brands had already started apologizing and announcing that their deals were cut off from Snowdrop, even before P&J Group.

The first brand to pull out was Heungil Furniture, who canceled their sponsorship deal after Snowdrop received backlash before it premiered.

Organic food brand Ssarijae was one of the first companies to inform their customers about their withdrawal. The company stated that they sealed the deal in December 2020 when the drama’s production team contacted them. They explained that it was a “simple” sponsorship only for their rice cakes. They also added that they only knew the actors, not the story.

Replies on Ssarijai's website notice of canceling sponsorship
Replies on Ssarijai's website notice of canceling sponsorship

Fashion brand GANISONG also announced their cancelation. According to Chosun, the brand’s representatives shared similar remarks that at the time of the sponsorship request, the production team did not inform them about the drama’s plot.

Tea brand Teazen also posted an apology informing their users that theirs was an exposure ad, not a sponsorship, but they have requested to cancel that too.

📷 Jung Hae-in for Puradak Chicken's Artist Collaboration Project 2021 (Making Film)🔗 #정해인

Other brands such as Dyson, Puradak Chicken (whose main model is Jung Hae In), Mattress company SONO SEASON and Hans Electronics have also asked to strike their names off the remaining episodes of Snowdrop too. Meanwhile, brands who bought ad time slots in between the telecast of the drama have also stopped their ads.

People have also contacted Disney Plus Korea for their stance on the issue, after JTBC's statement. They are more agitated that a global platform like Disney Plus can taint international audiences' views towards a historical movement, making it more difficult to state the truth in the internet-driven world.

Through its character and story setup, Snowdrop has come under the radar of glorifying state violence during the Democratic movement in the late 1980s when innocent students were tortured and killed under the then-authoritarian rule claiming they were North Korean spies.

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Edited by Danyal Arabi
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