Asia Business Channel

FC Seoul breaks ad rules by replicating arena crowd with sex dolls

A woman plays a video game using a virtual-reality headset at an arcade in Shanghai


A stunt by FC Seoul to fill up seats in its empty stadiums has backfired. To the club's embarrassment, the ‘mannequin’ fans turned out to be sex dolls, inadvertently advertising sex toys, which is illegal in South Korea.

After a brief hiatus, football is gradually coming into people’s lives - league by league. On 8 May, Korea’s top professional league - the K League - kicked off play for the first time since the pandemic took hold.

While normal play reinstates, there is one aspect that is noticeably absent - the roaring crowd, willing their team on.

2016 K League winners FC Seoul inadvertently used sex dolls rather than fashion mannequins to help fill empty stands this weekend. The club has apologized. Both the club and the supplier are pointing fingers at others. (It's not just COVID-19 you need to avoid catching!) ‪#kleague‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬




Additional controversy was caused by several dolls/mannequins wearing attire adorned with branding from an adult-themed manufacturer, as well as holding signs that featured the names of two specific sex toys. Such advertising is illegal in South Korea.



To get around this, FC Seoul decided to fill the empty seats with what it assumed were fashion mannequins, envisaging the stunt to be the most lifelike attempt by any football team thus far.

However, football fans were quick to spot FC Seoul’s mistake. Bringing further shame to the club, several of the sex dolls were also wearing clothing that featured the branding from the adult-themed manufacturer.

The dolls were also holding signs that featured the names of two specific sex toys, breaking South Korean laws that ban such advertising.




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