South Korean video ad criticized for 'sexually objectifying' garlic

Farmers in South Korea were shocked by a sexually suggestive video ad for garlic.

The 30-second video, released by Hongseong-gu’s official YouTube channel, depicts a woman touching the thigh of a man named “Hongsan,” who is wearing a large garlic head mask. The woman describes the garlic’s quality as “very thick” and “hard.”

The advertisement was produced in 2020 as a parody of a famous scene from the 2004 South Korean film “Once Upon a Time in High School.” It had reportedly garnered around 190,000 views on YouTube.

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Hongseong-gun, a rural town of approximately 100,000 residents, is well known for their “Hongsan” garlic.

After being aired on electronic billboards at Seoul bus terminals and billboards, the advertisement quickly gained attention, leaving some South Koreans shocked.

A farmer who noticed the video alerted a farmers’ group, the Korean Peasants League and the Korean Women Peasants Association, who then demanded that the video be taken down, describing it as “suggestive” and “inappropriate.” The group issued a statement on Monday.

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“I was astonished when I saw the Hongseong garlic promotional video. This video, which was aired every 5 minutes in a public place, has content of sexual expression that goes beyond sensationalism and offends those who see it. It has also damaged the reputation of agricultural products that farmers worked hard for,” the group stated. "Hongseong-gun, which sexually objectified men, women, and even agricultural products produced by farmers, should apologize immediately to the people and make efforts to prevent similar incidents."

The group requested a response by Aug. 10 and asked that those responsible be punished.

Hongseong-gun officials announced on Wednesday that the video was taken down from their official YouTube channel and is no longer airing on billboards.

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“From now on, when producing promotional videos, we will be more careful and pay attention so that the crops that the farmers have put their heart into can be properly promoted,” an official from Honseong stated per SBS.


Feature Image via DailyMail

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