Lee Hyori revealed she has not appeared in a commercial for ethical purposes and social change.
The reason why Lee Hyo-ri stopped filming the advertisement is being re-examined. The actress said in November 2012 that she would not appear in commercial ads that went against his beliefs.
At the time, her agency stated, “Lee Hyo-ri, a vegetarian, rejects offers to appear in advertisements that go against the fields she is working such as animal and environmental protection”. These include food containing meat or dairy, household goods that conduct animal experiments, and fur clothing advertisements.
Announcing her position not to appear in commercial advertisements, Lee ended her exclusive contract with the soju brand, which she had served as an advertising model for five years. In addition, the singer would not extend the advertising model for cosmetics brands at the end of their contract.
According to a media outlet at the time, there were already more than five advertisers who expressed their intention to recruit Lee Hyo-ri. Many applauded Lee Hyo-ri’s choice, as the advertising industry continued to speculate that if she had signed all contracts, the sales of advertising would have exceeded 3 billion won.
While the singer declared she would not shoot any commercials against her beliefs, her later appearance on TV revealed a more specific reason.
Lee Hyo-ri appeared on the SBS’s entertainment show “Thank You” in 2013 and revealed how she gave up advertising. In detail, Hyori said she had a friend who was not financially sufficient, and on his wife’s birthday, he invested half of his salary and gave her the diet medicine, which Hyori was advertising, as a gift.
Confessing this fact, Lee Hyo-ri said, “Taking the medicine doesn’t make it [have a real effect] like an advertisement… I was so guilty”. She then said that even when he advertised cosmetics, he felt burdened by advertisement phrases such as “This alone can make you like Lee Hyo-ri”.
When this story became known, netizens said, “It’s really thoughtful. As expected, Lee Hyo-ri is cool”, and “It’s amazing that celebrities act according to their beliefs because they usually have cloudy vision (swayed by personal gains)”. Lee Hyo-ri also refused PPL on JTBC’s entertainment show “Hyori’s Homestay”.
In conveying this fact, Lee Hyo-ri’s agency issued a statement, “She has no interest in appearing in any commercial advertisements except ad campaigns that are for the public interest. She is strong willed, so she politely declines all offers in advance.”
In fact, Lee Hyo-ri rejected all PPL proposals that came to her. Of course, the PPL that the production team received at the production level to avoid burdening the production team showed flexibility in accepting it.
What was particularly talked about was the fact that singer IU, who was a guest at the time, also refused PPL and brought clothes from her house and went on the broadcast only in her own clothes. Perhaps due to this reason, Lee Hyori and IU’s plain clothes became a hot topic throughout the broadcast. In particular, Lee Hyori’s natural look and IU’s contrasting plain clothes were very popular among netizens.
Then, in 2018, Lee Hyo-ri began working as a model for a handmade shoe brand. The brand is a company that hires hearing-impaired people to produce shoes, and it was “AGIO” run by Yoo Seok-young, a first-class blind CEO. Lee Hyo-ri announced that she was selected as a model for AGIO and posted on her Instagram, “Shoes made by hearing-impaired people with their hands. It’s even this pretty”.
AGIO has been shunned by people due to its image as shoes made by disabled people and closed in 2013. However, as soon as Lee Hyo-ri released the photo, access to the AGIO website was paralyzed, and AGIO was ranked at the top of the real-time search word list on large portal sites. Lee Hyo-ri’s firm belief created a good influence.
Thanks to Lee Hyo-ri’s active promotion, it was widely known that the AGIO products were of good quality at a reasonable price, bringing in orders from customers who wanted to buy shoes. Lee Hyo-ri has been working as a model for AGIO with her husband Lee Sang-soon since 2018.