Vodka ad sparks controversy over Seoul protest image

Seoul, Dec 12 (IANS) The use by a vodka brand of an aerial image of the recent mass protests against the South Korean President for an advertisement has triggered a controversy, reports said on Monday.

Many in the country criticised the commercial use of the political event, Efe news reported.

The picture, posted on Absolut Vodka South Korea’s official Facebook page, shows a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people carrying lit-candles in the central avenue of Seoul taking the form of a vodka bottle.

The liquor ad, whose tagline is “The future is yours to create”, sparked widespread outrage on the social media.

A Facebook user expressed horror and shame at having “held a candle so that I could be used as an advertisement for an alcoholic beverage manufacturer”.

Others complained of the “commercialisation” of democracy and termed the use of the photo as inappropriate.

However, there were also some who praised the “clever use” of the picture and the slogan.

“I love the statement (and encouragement to Korean people) that ‘the future is yours to create’, not politicians’, any bystanders’ or outsiders’,” read one such post.

For the past several weeks, South Koreans participated in unprecedented mass rallies in central Seoul, to protest against the corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

On Friday, the South Korean parliament approved an impeachment motion against Park following the widespread unrest and pressure from the opposition.

Park ceded all her powers to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, pending a constitutional court verdict on the matter.

–IANS

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