Korea Finally Ditches ‘Creative Korea’ Slogan Amid Plagiarism Charges and Corruption Connections

Korea’s latest slogan “Creative Korea” has been scrapped, another in a continuing line of missteps in creating compelling branding to promote the country internationally.

The announcement by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the slogan amounted to “being linked with corruption and hard to expect it to promote Korea’s national image.”

More: ‘I.Seoul.U’ – the Confusing New Slogan for Seoul, South Korea


“‘Creative Korea’ has been shrouded in controversies, such as plagiarism, and has never been properly used since it was released,” the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a statement. “With the newly appointed minister, we have officially scrapped any plans to use the slogan.”

Additionally hurting the slogan is its links to music video director Cha Eun-taek. Cha has close ties to the central figure in Korea’s massive presidential corruption scandal that led to the removal of President Park Geun-hye in March.

The slogan was released last year at a cost of $3 million and was used in promotional campaigns for the 2016 Rio Games and the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

At the time of release, Michael Breen, CEO of Insight Communications Consultants in Seoul, told the Korea Times that the slogan lacked creativity and didn’t represent Korea’s core strategy.


“Just as a brand, it is okay and better than the previous ‘Dynamic Korea’. However, this one is quite similar to brands of other countries, combining an adjective and the name of the country such as ‘Incredible India’ and ‘Amazing Thailand’, ironically not quite creative,” said Breen.


When it was released last year the slogan immediately faced a backlash with charges that it was far too similar to “Creative France”.

Opposition party member, Rep. Sohn Hye-won quickly took to the airwaves to highlight the problems with the country’s expensive new slogan.

Designer and opposition party member Sohn Hye-won. Photo: Joongang Ilbo

Designer and opposition party member Sohn Hye-won. Photo: Joongang Ilbo

“Creative Korea” had replaced an earlier country slogan “Imagine Your Korea”, which was also a short-lived attempt at branding the country internationally. Other problematic slogans include the still used, and widely-criticized “I.Seoul.U” slogan promoting the capital city of Seoul.


No new slogan is currently being considered to replace “Creative Korea.”

Here is a video announcing the new slogan last year.


Picture of Jeff Liebsch

Jeff Liebsch

Jeff is the Editor in Chief at Haps Korea.


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