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Fans label SM Entertainment’s recent merch promotion ‘cheap’ and ‘greedy’

K-Pop is almost always known for two merch items: lightsticks and photocards. Both are essentials for any K-Pop fan, albeit how each is collected varies based on the fandom and the groups they idolize.

Like other businesses, one often gets a pack of photocards with the members holding their lightsticks when you purchase the item.

SM Entertainment is one company whose lightsticks have always been superb. However, criticism has been thrown against their latest decision for their lightstick sales.

Recently, SM Entertainment announced a new round of sales for their artists. Of course, fans were quick to purchase the lightsticks and were pleased to learn that the merchandise came with photocards, but others were confused since, unlike most companies, only one member is included. Nonetheless, many people chose to give them the benefit of the doubt since, given the size of some of the groups, it could have been too much to show every PC.

However, after checking the details thoroughly, people notice that it’s not the case. In fact, SM Entertainment claimed to be giving out only one random photocard of a member in every lightstick purchase.

After the product graphics went public and people saw SM’s tactic on photocards, they began berating the company and labeling them as cheap and greedy.

Many noted that while there were no upgrades with the lightsticks, the company was also making it harder for fans to collect photocards. They specifically highlighted how difficult it makes collectors’ lives given that despite purchasing albums to accumulate every photo card can be tough, it is still manageable. But purchasing an excessive number of lightsticks to collect them all is unrealistic.

K-pop companies have long faced criticism for exploiting their fan base, with many labeling this choice as the result of “capitalism greed.”



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