A staff member of a Hanoi-based store has been fined 40 million (US$1,786) for running an advertising campaign which flouted Vietnamese cultural customs.
Le Viet Chung, from the marketing department of the Tran Anh electronics store, received the fine on Friday over promotion activities in which young women hired by the store donned bikinis to welcome visitors and introduce air-conditioning products.
Chung is required to pay the fine within 10 days.
On April 28, the store sparked fury over social media after its customers shared a number of photos and videos showing promotion girls in two-piece swimwear helping customers park their motorbike and leading them into the store, where they introduced products.
A lot of netizens expressed their criticism, judging the store for the act they called scandalous promotion to get fame.
In response, the store operator explained the photos and videos spread over the Internet were leaked from their project on sex education, encouraging the outcry more.
“Cool! Suddenly an enterprise thinks about sex education for young people, but it’s still hard to find a connection between air conditioners and genders,” one reacted.
“Two-piece swimwear is for swimming, not for going on streets, that’s how you should educate them,” another added.
Tran Anh is not the first case in Vietnam that has been fined for using skimpy costumes to promote products.
In September last year, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the southern city of Can Tho imposed a VND8 million ($357) fine on the Mat Troi Lon Ltd. Co. for conducting advertising activity which was not similar to the content it had sent to the authorities.
Instead of letting models wearing T-shirts and shorts walk and promote a coffee brand like the company said they would put on, the firm had the women don see-through white T-shirts, revealing their underwear.
In 2012, a carrier was fined VND20 million ($893) for letting a number of beauties wear bikinis on a plane from Ho Chi minh City to Nha Trang, though the fine was not for the swimwear but for organizing unauthorized events.
Two years later, it continued to invite beauties for a photo shoot with bikinis on a plane and received strong criticism from the public.
The carrier’s representative later had to explain that the photos were leaked and only experimental.