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HiteJinro rehires singer-actor IU as Chamisul model

Health Ministry delays law to stop celebrities from promoting alcohol


South Korean liquor maker HiteJinro said Wednesday that it had once again chosen singer-actor IU as its model for prominent soju brand Chamisul.

IU previously modeled for Chamisul for four years, from 2014 to 2018.

“IU is popular and has considerable stature as a singer and actor, and her unique ‘clean’ image (presented as a TV personality), goes along well with the brand,” HiteJinro said.

The brand’s IU ads differed from the industry norm when she was first chosen, as most liquor brands chose to associate their products with a “sexy” image, the company explained.

Meanwhile, legislation is underway that would prohibit the use of celebrity pictures on bottles of alcoholic beverages.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare has been working to issue a notice that it intends to revise the National Health Promotion Act to prohibit such marketing tactics, amid rising concerns that they encourage drinking.

A ministry official told The Korea Herald that the notice about the legislation, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, will be issued around the end of March.

Rep. Nam In-soon of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea also proposed a change to the law in December 2019 that would add a new article banning celebrities from endorsing alcohol.

By Jo He-rim (