A virtual influencer and promotion model, named Lizzie Yeo, is under fire for her close resemblance to Red Velvet’s Irene.
The Korea Tourism Organization developed the virtual persona, which cost over 800 million KRW ($557,000 USD), to serve as its honorary ambassador. Lizzie Yeo started attracting attention for her strange similarity to well-known female celebrities, such as Irene and singer/actress Kwon Nara, after featuring in numerous advertising content for Korean tourism since July.
For this disagreement, the figure even drew condemnation from the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Committee, as one committee member noted when contrasting a picture of Lizzie Yeo and Irene side by side: “Yeo Lizzie is the person to the left, and Irene is the one to the right. They appear the same. Here, one’s portrait rights raise severe questions.”
The committee added that, “The character is too similar to Kwon Nara and Irene. The character was reportedly made with characteristics that were believed to be fashionable among the MZ generations, however this virtual figure is raising erroneous standards for beauty.”
Additionally, Lizzie Yeo was accused of making up her SNS followers. Following the Korea Tourism Organization’s admission that SNS followers were bought using a marketing platform, 8,000 followers on Lizzie Yeo’s SNS have been removed.