Adidas Collaboration with 5th-Generation Girlgroup Sparks Boycott Calls

German sportswear giant Adidas is facing heat from Korean netizens following their recent collaboration with K-Pop girl group QWER. A promotional video featuring the group showcasing Adidas products has ignited controversy, leading to calls for a boycott.

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The controversy stems from remarks made by QWER member Siyeon, who during a broadcast, expressed traditional views on marriage and childbirth. Siyeon stated, “Humans are born to reproduce. It is our duty to reproduce,” further emphasizing marriage as fulfilling that duty. These comments struck a nerve in Korea, a country grappling with declining birth rates and evolving societal views on gender roles.

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The promotional video, shared on QWER’s social media, quickly became a hot topic on Korean forum TheQoo. The post garnered over 37,500 views and 370 comments, many expressing disappointment with Adidas’ choice of collaborator. Comments ranged from vows to boycott Adidas to questions about the brand’s stance on women’s rights.

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However, dissenting voices also emerged, criticizing the online vitriol directed at QWER and suggesting the controversy is overblown.

Adidas now finds itself in a precarious position. The backlash highlights the challenges brands face navigating cultural sensitivities and public opinion when choosing celebrity partnerships. The company must carefully consider how this incident will impact its future marketing strategies in Korea.