Netizens react to HYBE & CJ ENM doing viral marketing for trainee before launching survival show “R U Next?”

HYBE’s promotion of trainee Lee Young Seo before the airing of “R U Next?” made some netizens frown.

As soon as HYBE announced their plan to produce the new girl group survival project “R U Next?” in cooperation with CJ ENM, articles praising several trainees have been posted on various online communities, raising controversy over viral marketing.

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The main character of the controversy is Lee Young Seo, an idol trainee who is currently studying in high school. There is no information about her except for the fact that she was born in 2005.

“R U Next?” is an audition program scheduled to air on JTBC on June 30th. Since HYBE promoted it as a show to select a new girl group following LE SSERAFIM and NewJeans, “R U Next?” drew keen attention and attracted 140,000 applicants.

A large number of trainees under HYBE’s subsidiaries are expected to join this survival program. However, the list of trainees on “R U Next?” has not been disclosed yet.

Prior to the airing of the program, articles about Lee Young Seo have been continuously posted on social media and online communities since early June.

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Along with several photos of Lee Young Seo, there are captions comparing her with celebrities, such as “a trainee who used to live with NewJeans”, “a trainee who resembles the late idol Goo Ha Ra”, etc. Posts with similar titles and content keep pouring out on many online communities.

A Twitter user claimed to be Lee Young Seo’s classmate and posted compliments for the idol trainee, saying “She practiced hard and studied hard at the same time”, “She was loved by many teachers”, etc.

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As these articles repeatedly appeared, netizens began to show cold reactions. Many people pointed out that HYBE is doing viral marketing for their trainee prior to the launch of “R U Next?”. The fact that those who posted the articles are mostly new members of such online communities also supported this claim.

Netizens criticized, saying “It’s disgusting that they’re doing viral marketing”, “Why are they posting polls on communities in advance?”, “Why are they doing viral marketing so obvious?”, “I hate these kinds of viral marketing”, etc. Some Internet users even complained that they are already tired of audition programs.

On the other hand, some raised expectations for the trainee and the program despite the viral marketing issue.

An official in the entertainment industry said, “It’s already a common thing that companies do viral marketing before airing a program, introducing a girl group or releasing an album”, adding “In fact, ‘anti-viral’ targeting rival idols is also taking place secretly”

Earlier on the 7th, the production team of “R U Next?” already released posters and teaser video to promote their program.

Source: Nate

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