Media and Advertising

Underage Super Girls hawking baijiu

No age limit on this baijiu

Exhibit A: Advertisements saturating the country since before the Spring Festival featuring five Super Girl runners-up pushing Liuyanghe brand baijiu. At center is He Jie, the fourth-place finisher; with her from left to right are Chen Xibei, Huang Yali, Ji Minjia, and Ye Yiqian, all in the top ten. Zhang Liangying, who actually sang the song "Liuyanghe" during the competition, was apparently off stumping for some other brand (or else involved in a scandalous love affair).

Their Spring Festival ads for Liuyanghe ran with the slogan, "If you want to sing, sing! If you want to drink, drink!" The first half of this slogan was taken directly from the Super Girls competition; when the endorsement deal was announced last October, there was not a small amount of disgust at the fact that a liquor company was granted the imprimatur of a show whose audience included vast numbers of young people. It was a continuation, however, of Liuyanghe's use of youthful champions as spokespersons for its products - you may have seen the fresh face of Olympic gold-medalist Liu Xuan peering out at you from the side of a bus.

Exhibit B: China's new drinking law, which went into effect on 1 January, prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors. There's a three month grace period, so crackdowns shouldn't start until 1 April (if at all).

Interestingly, Liuyanghe managed to recruit both the oldest and the youngest contestants who made the finals. Ji Minjia, born on 30 June 1982, is 23. Huang Yali was born on 15 February, 1989, but it was recently revealed that this is actually her lunar birthdate, making her not yet 17. One hopes that the distillery keeps her in good supply of the 52% "Eternal Radiance" baijiu she's enthusiastically endorsing, since she won't be able to buy any herself.

A somewhat abbreviated version of this post previously appeared in That's Beijing magazine.

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