A South Korean Milk Company Compared Women to Cows, Then Says Sorry
“We finally managed to capture them on camera in a place of pristine cleanliness,” said a voiceover in the ad by Seoul Milk, a leading South Korean dairy company.
The ad shows a male hiker with a camera, stumbling across a group of women clad in white while sitting on a field of grass. The hiker, as if a wildlife documentarist, secretly films the women, who bizarrely drink water droplets from leaves.
And then the hiker accidentally steps on a branch, creating noise—at which point the people he was filming raise their heads as if startled.
The hiker looks away from the camera’s viewfinder to look at the field with his naked eyes, only to see cows in plain sight.
The ad ends with “Clean water, organic feed, 100 percent pure Seoul Milk. Organic milk from an organic ranch in the pleasant nature of Cheongyang,” as translated by the BBC.
The ad triggered a national debate over gender sensitivity issues. Criticisms were not confined to the issue of comparing women to cows but also on spy cam porn.
Critics raised the issue of privacy as the hiker was shown secretly filming women. Voyeurism and hidden spy cam incidents are so rampant in South Korea the BBC called it a “spy cam porn epidemic.”
Koreans even have a word for the act of secretly filming people: Molka.
“More than 6,000 cases of so-called spy cam porn are reported to the police each year, and 80 percent of the victims are women,” the BBC reported.
Seoul Milk has apologized for the ad.
“We sincerely apologize to everyone who may have felt uncomfortable due to the milk advertisement video uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Seoul Milk on the 29th of last month,” Seoul Milk's parent company Seoul Dairy Cooperative said in a statement.
“We are taking this matter seriously, and we will pay more attention and review to prevent similar problems in the future.”