A medical research group called on the government to ban sports stars from appearing in alcohol advertisements, which they claim could aggravate drinking-related problems among young people.
The Korean Academy of Addiction Psychiatry pointed out specifically Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na’s beer advertisements.
The 22-year-old Olympic medalist became the model for a Hite Beer product in April. Previously, the figure queen has done advertisements for other products from coffee to air conditioners, but this is her first time endorsing an alcoholic drink.
Kim is a role model for young people and her alcohol advertising should be blamed for teenage binge drinking, according Shin Young-chul, a senior member of KAAP.
The KAAP pointed out that in the United States professional athletes, such as MLB baseball players, are banned from advertising alcohol.
However, alcohol advertising featuring sports stars is common in Korea since there is no regulation.
Korean soccer star Park Ji-sung was also until recently featured in Pernod Ricard’s Imperial whiskey advertisements.
“The government should introduce regulations to prevent sports stars from appearing alcohol advertisements,” Shin said in a statement.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)