SEOUL, Jun. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — As the center of the food service industry is shifting to the delivery market, initiatives to attempt to woo celebrities to certain platforms as well as reward consumers with coupons are stirring up controversy.
Baedal Minjok, South Korea’s leading food delivery app, recently drew the ire of the public for distributing 10,000 won (US$8.50) discount coupons to celebrities such as singers, broadcasters and YouTubers as part of a marketing initiative.
Some of the stars even posted proof shots on their social networking service (SNS) accouts.
In the online space, criticism flared up over such issue, with many saying Baedal Minjok ignored ordinary citizens who are the regular customers of the app and issued “huge” coupons targeting celebrities.
Some criticized Baedal Minjok for issuing 10,000 won coupon to celebrities who are already financially well off, while issuing mush smaller coupons to regular customers.
However, Baedal Minjok defended itself, saying, “Among celebrities, we are providing coupons to those who use the app on a regular basis or for those who we hope to attract as regular customers in the future.”
In the case of another delivery app, Yogiyo, coupons caused different problems.
Some netizens found discount codes and downloaded coupons in an abnormal way. It was a case of fraudulent issuance that took advantage of the fact that discount codes were not a few words.
Some suggest that the controversy has been caused by consumer sentiment that searches for even the slightest discount, as the price of late-night snacks such as fried chicken has soared while wallets are getting thinner.
“Delivery fried chicken and pizza have now become the national foods that are accessible to all men and women,” an industry source said.
“Since consumers’ wallets are getting thinner, we need to take a careful approach as they will inevitably become more sensitive to coupons.”
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)