SEOUL: Korean liquor company Lotte Liquor recently announced that it will remove a series of suggestive videos which promote their Cheoumcheoreom (roughly translated as Like the First Time) brand of soju (Korean rice wine), from its YouTube channel and its website on Friday, reported Korean media.
The ads show K-pop girl group members HyunA of 4Minute, Goo Hara from Kara, and Sistar's Hyolyn dancing suggestively in sexy outfits, with a bottle of soju in hand.
While the ads, which were released in early December, are classified as adult content and are banned from being shown to those below 19, they have become freely available on video sharing sites like YouTube.
Lotte Liquor, Korea's second-largest producer of soju, said the move was in response to a call by the Seoul Municipal Government on Monday, for liquor companies to avoid featuring young sports personalities, actors and K-pop stars in liquor ads.
According to Korean authorities, liquor ads are shown 574 times per day in the print media, on radio as well as on television.
Of the 22 models featured in liquor ads earlier this year, 17 are showbiz celebrities.
The Seoul Municipal Government had expressed concern that such commercials could be sending the wrong message about alcohol consumption to Korean youths, many of whom dream of becoming entertainers.
While the legal drinking age in Korea is 19, a study conducted by Korean authorities last year revealed that Korean youth typically started drinking at between 12 and 13.