A bizarre ad, which seemingly compared women to cows, has landed South Korea’s biggest dairy company in trouble. Facing angry backlash over the ad, Seoul Milk has issued an apology.
The advert showed a man exploring the countryside and filming a group of women in a field, secretly, who were shown drinking water from a stream and doing yoga. According to The Daily Mail, a voice-over – following the style of wildlife documentary – spoke about the women’s diet and stress-free lifestyle. But as the man accidentally steps on a twig, startling the women, the latter strangely turn into cows, who then starts mooing!
The less-than-a-minute ad sparked a huge debate on social media and in South Korea. The ad mentioned that the women live in a pristine, natural environment, follow eco-friendly practices, including the diet, and live in an ambiance that is pleasant. A man, who is filming the women, could also be heard saying that he needs to approach the women cautiously. But he steps on a twig and the women, startled by the noise, look at him, and then they turn into cows!
The advert drew angry reactions from viewers after which, it was removed. But by that time, it had already gone viral and shared on social media. Here’s the ad that’s still there on YouTube:
Apart from being gender insensitive, people also criticised the ad for “normalising” the act of filming women secretly. As a user pointed out, the ad reeked of “molka plus misogyny.” Molka in South Korea are miniature cameras, which are illegally and secretly installed, and they are used to capture voyeuristic images and videos.
Issuing an apology, the company said that the ad, uploaded on the official YouTube channel of Seoul Milk on November 29, has been removed from the company’s official YouTube channel. “We sincerely apologize to everyone who felt uncomfortable seeing our milk advertising video uploaded on Seoul Milk’s official YouTube channel, November 29. We are taking the matter seriously and will take more careful measures to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future,” Seoul Milk said, according to media reports.