SKT’s Olympic marketing comes under fire

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Dec 7, 2017 - 16:02
Updated : Dec 7, 2017 - 16:02

SK Telecom has come under fire after airing a commercial starring former figure skater Kim Yu-na to support the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics as a non-Olympic sponsor.

The PyeongChang Olympic Organizing Committee has reportedly sent a letter to SK Telecom to stop it airing television commercials related to the Olympics on the grounds that “ambush marketing” taking advantage of Olympic fever is illegal.

Ambush marketing refers to a company’s indirect marketing activities despite not being an official sponsor of the event.

SKT aired two commercials starring Kim Yu-na and one starring skeleton competitor Yun Sung-bin with a message aimed for PyeongChang.

Skeleton racer Yun Sung-bin airring in SK Telecom commercial to support the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics



In the three commercials, they inserted the phrase “See You in PyeongChang” alongside the name of SK Telecom and “Welcome to 5G Korea.” They also showed the Olympic flag in the videos.

“See You in PyeongChang” is a wordplay on SKT’s original commercial slogan “See You Tomorrow.” The background music of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” is also used in SKT’s commercial.

The organizing committee reportedly sent letters twice, on Monday and Wednesday, to the mobile carrier, saying the video infringed the rights of the Olympics’ official sponsors.

SKT, however, said the commercials are legitimate, saying, “We only participated in the project led by broadcasting companies with the intention to serve public interests.”

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation