Korean actress Kim Hee-seon [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean cosmetics brand VOV has issued a public statement saying actress Kim Hee-son's image is being tarnished by her endorsing a fake make-up company in China.
Yesterday, both the actress's agency and VOV had denied that Kim had shot an advertisement for China's VOV but is rather a spokesmodel for a brand called LANCHEN, considered one of the top three cosmetics brands in China.
VOV issued a press release today, however, saying that a Chinese company named Yace, along with several others, had built its business by pirating the successful Korean brand and selling knockoffs of its products, eventually accumulating enough capital to establish its own cosmetics brand LANCHEN.
LANCHEN, whose mother company has no legal affiliation to the original brand, signed with Kim last year which is damaging the actress's image, Korea VOV stated.
The Korean brand further claimed that its own corporate image has been at risk as LANCHEN products are produced, sold and managed by Yace.
The Korean brand, explaining that all products being sold in China under the name "VOV" is illegitimate, stressed that such unauthorized use of trademark, production and sales of its products is causing enormous financial losses to the company.
VOV ended its message by saying, "we express our regrets to actress Kim Hee-seon."
Kim, 33, has appeared in over a dozen Korean television dramas and films since her debut in 1993. The actress, who married a businessman in 2007, was last seen in the 2006 SBS TV series "Smile Again" and 2005 Hong Kong film "The Myth" alongside action star Jackie Chan.