DAVICHI‘s Kang Minkyung had recently made headlines for up-pricing the products on her own brand of clothing, Avie Muah, including $49 scrunchies. This time, she was reportedly under fire for including product placement, products she was paid to advertise in her YouTube videos, without explicitly stating that they were ads.
As with social media and advertisement, influencers and celebrities are often required to state if they were paid or sponsored a particular product, with a simple hashtag or statement that the video includes product sponsorship or advertisement. However, Kang Minkyung had overlooked that rule it seems, according to an article released by Dispatch on the 14th of July 2020.
The article stated that in most of her recent videos where she talked about the products she used in her daily life, most of the products were actually product placement. It was also reported that she receives between ₩15000000 KRW ~ ₩20000000 KRW ($12,500 USD ~ $16,700 USD) from each brand.
A day later on the 15th of July, Kang Minkyung released a statement on her social media explaining that rather than pre-determined advertisement agreements, she had accepted offers from the brands themselves that contacted her after she had published the videos, as the brands wanted to use her to promote their products. The statement has since been deleted.
She further explained that for products that she received planned sponsorship and advertisement contracts for, were stated in the videos themselves that the items were provided to her.
A netizen had asked, why she did not go back to edit the videos or information tab if she had received offers after they were published, to which she explained that it was as the videos themselves, were not meant to be advertisements or sponsored videos as a whole. She then made the decision that there was no need to explicitly state that they were product placements as that was not the original intention.
Kang Minkyung is not the only celebrity to have faced issues with backlash from sponsor and product placement issues with their YouTube channels. Superstylist Han Hye Yeon, former Girls’ Generation‘s Jessica, influencer and socialite Ki Eun Se have all also been found to accept sponsored content or ads, while actresses such as Shin Se Kyung and Han Ye Seul have received praise for turning them down.