Song Joong Ki may not be eating Chinese bibimbap anymore. His drama Vincenzo has begun discussions on canceling the remaining Chinese food product placements.
Vincenzo signed PPL (product placement) contract worth about 300-400 million KRW (about $265,133 – $353,511) with Chinese brand Zi Hai Guo. The contract term includes four exposures: The main characters eat their food twice, and the series exposes the brand name twice.
In the 8th episode, Zi Hai Guo’s Chinese bibimbap was on TV. Jeon Yeo-Been pulled out the bibimbap, calling it “delicious.” And Song Joong Ki enjoyed the meal, saying, “Villains don’t deserve love.”
Chinese bibimbap on Korean dramas; viewers frowned their eyes. China is currently carrying out a so-called “kimchi process” where they claim that kimchi is part of their own culture. They claim that kimchi originated from China’s paocai or pickled vegetables.
When the controversy sparked, the production team hurried to settle the issue. An anonymous broadcasting official shared, “We discussed canceling the three remaining exposures. We are under discussion with the Chinese brand.”
But most importantly, the main actors’ choices remain questionable. An expert in PPL said, “If actors don’t give the final consent, not one PPL can carry out. The production company that approved of Chinese bibimbap (for money) is blameable, but actors who agreed to eat it are also problem.”
Drama production is a commercial activity. However, Vincenzo is broadcast around the world via Netflix. This may help China carry out the “bibimbap process,” following the “kimchi process.”
Professor Seo Kyung Duk pointed out, “China has recently claimed that kimchi, hanbok, and pansori are their own culture. We can’t ignore the production cost, but it’s a real shame that such a decision was made in recent days.”