[Talk of the town]Bad commercialAmid public criticism of celebrities who star in commercials for private loan companies, Choi Min-soo, a 45-year-old actor, said last week that he will take the blame for his recent appearance with his wife in one such advertisement.
In the commercial, Choi, dressed in a tuxedo, hands a bunch of flowers to his wife, June Kang. Printed across the image are the words, “Interest lowered to 11.25 percent especially for you.”
In a media interview last week, Choi said, “I will not regret or apologize for appearing in the commercial. I will just quietly endure all the criticism.”
He is alleged to have struck a deal with the company in February, when the mood toward money brokers had not yet turned so negative. Although private loan companies are known to pay very well for such appearances, actors Choi Soo-jong and Kim Ha-neul backed out of ad shoots as criticism of them mounted. Choi Soo-jong apologized for appearing in a money lender’s commercial and Kim Ha-neul temporarily suspended her contract.
It is not illegal for actors to star in commercials for private loan companies, but as many people who owe money to these lenders struggle against snowballing debt, appearing to endorse loan companies is giving rise to public criticism. As a long-respected actor and one of the most recent celebrities to appear in the ads, Choi is facing a particularly intense backlash. By Yang Yeon-hee
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