A popular YouTuber in South Korea has been fined 5 million Korean won ($4,092) by a court in Daejeon south of Seoul for false advertising of a food product according to reports in the Korean media.
Jeong Man-su, who goes by the alias Banzz (밴쯔) on his YouTube channel, was fined for falsely promoting the weight-loss effects of his products, The Korea Herald reported. Jeong hosts a “mukbang” (먹방) channel, a Korean term describing someone who eats large amounts of food while interacting with the viewing audience.
Eat4U is a health food brand that Jeong launched in March 2017, a company which pitched its products as diet aids according to the Herald, which reported that “Judges said the ad, which ran for about three months on social media, misled consumers into believing weight loss could be achieved just by consuming the product.”
Jeong denied the charges and plead innocence, saying he did not intend to deceive consumers and that the ad was a compilation of reviews from the product users.
AllKpop wrote at the onset of the trial last month that, “The star also explained that it is his first time in the food products business, and he mistakenly posted content which could cause misunderstandings due to his inexperience.”
Prosecutors had previously sought a six-month jail term.
During the case, Jeong, who is reportedly the most popular celebrity in the Mukbang world of big eaters, saw little in the way of a fan exodus. Media reports said he lost around 100,000 followers on his YouTube channel. He currently has 3.1 million followers.
Here is an English subtitled version of his show:
Jeong is also known for his heavy exercise routine to maintain a physique that gives no indication whatsoever that he consumes prodigious amounts of food for a living.