MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Korea

Baskin-Robbins Korea removes controversial ad

The ice cream brand’s commercial that featured a child model was met with heavy criticism.

Baskin-Robbins has removed a recent commercial starring Ella Gross, after it was criticized for sexually objectifying the child.

The ice cream brand released a 30-second video for new ice cream flavors on its social media channels. In the video, the 10-year-old model, wearing a pink sleeveless dress and heavy make-up, tastes the new flavor of ice cream.

The company posted a written apology a day after releasing the commercial. In the statement, Baskin-Robbins said it had discussed the concept of the commercial with the model's parents fully and the parents were accompanying her when they filmed it.

"The make-up she was wearing was at the general level applied to other child models, and the dress she was wearing was also from a children's clothes brand she is currently working for as a model," the statement read (as reported by Korea Herald). "But we removed the image after accepting customers' opinions."

However, the statement caused more criticism from internet users who said the posting was not an apology but simply an excuse. The company eventually took the statement down.

Gross’s mother took to the young model’s Instagram account – which she manages – to respond to the campaign's critics.

“I’m saddened to see how certain segments of the Korean public reacted to this commercial. What was honestly meant to be a fun commercial for a new ice cream flavour is being perceived by them as something disgusting and horrific," she said.

Photo credit: Baskin-Robbins Korea/YouTube Screengrab

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