It is true that SM Ent. used the photo of BTS’s characters – TinyTAN for the corporate briefing of their fan communication platform Dear U.
On November 9th, an article was posted on an online community pointing out that TinyTAN was used in the corporate briefing of Dear U.
Earlier on the 22nd of last month, Vice President of Dear U Lee Hak-hee held a press briefing to announce his plans and visions. On the same day, Vice President Lee said Dear U would expand their fandom messenger – Bubble to a metabus platform. Therefore, this would allow users to replace their Bubble’s profile picture with photos of metabus characters.
The problem is that Vice President Lee used the image of TinyTAN J-Hope as an example during his presentation. Moreover, the TinyTAN image was also seen in the thumbnail of the briefing session video.
BTS is currently using Weverse, Dear U’s opponent. Weverse is a fan communication platform that has been operated by HYBE’s subsidiary – Weverse Company since 2019.
As a result, many ARMYs raised suspicions that Dear U used TinyTAN’s images without permission. A fan pointed out, “aespa also has metabus characters so I don’t understand why they had to use BTS’s images.” Another fan also criticized SM, saying, “This is not what a big company should do. HYBE would never let their competitor use BTS images.”
Dear U and SM Entertainment have not given any explanation about this issue yet.