Kim Soo-hyun, Jun Ji-hyun mired in controversy over Chinese ad

By Lee Hyun-jeong
  • Published : Jun 20, 2014 - 18:08
  • Updated : Jun 20, 2014 - 18:09
Korean heart throbs Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun, the couple from “My Love from the Star,” are facing criticism after they shot a Chinese commercial for drinking water with an incorrectly labeled water source. 

("My Love from the Star" homepage capture)

Both were earlier tapped as models for Chinese mineral water Hengda bingquan. Later, however, controversy grew after it was revealed that the water company listed the water source as “Jang bai shan” rather than the original Korean name -- Mount Baekdusan.
(Hengda company)

Calling the mountain lying on the border of North Korea and China “Jang bai shan” has been pushed as part of China’s Northeast Project that ignited uproar from South Korea.

The project refers to a four-year scheme to rewrite history that the Chinese government launched in 2002. The project aims, among other things, to describe Goguryeo, one of the three ancient Korean kingdoms, as part of ancient Chinese territory.

As the controversy grew over the water commercial, Kim’s management agency apologized for the insufficient check of the water source.

“The agency feels sorry for not checking the water source thoroughly. We will be more cautious in other ads in the future,” said Kim’s agency.

Jun’s management agency also attempted to calm down public opinion.

“We made the contract only for the commercial. It’s our fault that we didn’t check the water source in advance,” said the agency. “We may need to talk to our Chinese counterpart.”

The couple has already finished the ad shoot, reportedly bringing record pay -- 1 billion won.