Major marketing put on hold amid ferry disasterLocal companies and business groups are toning down showy marketing promotions in the wake of the Sewol ferry accident on Wednesday, a tragedy that has left hundreds missing and at least 28 dead.
E-Land Group was scheduled to hold its opening ceremony on Thursday for its Kensington Marine Hotel in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, but the event to promote the 221 room, five-star luxury accommodation was canceled after reports that the ferry, carrying 475 people, had capsized in waters off Jindo, South Jeolla, en route to Jeju Island.
Only 179 people had been rescued as of yesterday. Of the total passengers on the vessel, 325 were students from Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi, who were traveling to the resort island on a class trip.
Shinsegae Group also canceled a ceremony slated for Thursday, the company said yesterday, at which it was supposed to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the ChildFund.
Meanwhile, a few companies pulled their television advertisements.
Oriental Brewery suspended a commercial for Cass Fresh, which it had aired every night beginning late last month. Another ad for the new Cass Light was also pulled.
Beer maker Hite-Jinro also suspended the TV ads of New Hite and D as well as beverage test events at major discount stores.
Additionally, the Korea Federation of SMEs is delaying a ceremony celebrating the cumulative number of its subscribers to the SME mutual aid benefit Yellow Umbrella. It was scheduled for Wednesday.
“We judged that the ceremony’s celebratory mood was not in line with the general mood of the public right now,” said a federation official.
Other companies have instead opted to provide assistance and support in ongoing search and rescue efforts off Jindo.
SK Group said yesterday that it sent 10 employees equipped with blankets and food to the scene to comfort the families still awaiting news on their relatives.
SK Telecom set up two mobile tower stations in Jindo to help make it easier for wireless mobile telecommunication in the region, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries each provided a 3,600-ton marine crane to help in the rescue mission.
Korean Air is providing emergency aid, including 25,000 bottles of water and 1,000 blankets to the rescuers on Jindo. It said it plans to provide more aid as necessary.
Korean Air wants “to help the families of the missing in any way it can,” the company said in a statement.
CJ Group said it is considering sending some of its employees to help with rescue efforts, and Korea Exchange Bank is also looking into ways to help the families devastated by the disaster.
BY MOON GWANG-LIP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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