“We are taking this matter seriously, and we will pay more attention and review to prevent similar problems in the future.” It’s a fairly standard corporate apology. What prompted South Korea’s largest dairy company to issue it is a little less typical: an advertisement that critics say depicts women as cows. CNN explains the video, uploaded to Seoul Milk’s YouTube channel, opens with a man walking through nature with a camera; women dressed in white are shown drinking from a pristine spring and then doing what look like yoga stretches in a field. He draws closer, then steps on a twig, rupturing the tranquility. When the shot returns to the women, they’ve been replaced with cows. It’s paired with this voice-over: “We finally succeeded in capturing their images in a place where nature has been kept clean. We decided to approach them cautiously, who’re drinking clean water from clean nature, eating organic diet, and living peacefully in a pleasant environment.” Parent company Seoul Dairy Cooperative initially responded defensively, saying there were men in the ad that viewers weren’t able to make out, and that the intention was just to highlight the organic nature of their product. The sincere apology “to everyone who may have felt uncomfortable due to the milk advertisement video” followed.
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