On September 4, 2019, upset f(x) fans claimed on Twitter that SM Entertainment “denied them permission” to run fan-made advertisements at the COEX Mall in Seoul, Korea.
According to Twitter, f(x)’s Chinese fan site “fx-oxygen” had put together a special campaign to congratulate the group on its 10th anniversary since debut. The ads were supposed to go up all around the mall, to be displayed several times throughout the day.
However, the plan got tossed in the air when SM Entertainment allegedly denied the fans permission to put up such ads and “demanded them to be taken down”. The fan site explained, in Chinese then translated into English by fellow Twitter users, that because the agency wasn’t going to allow the ads to run in the COEX Mall, it was now looking for a new location last minute.
fx-oxygen fan support in COEX mall for f(x)’s 10th anniversary was turned down yesterday by SM.
— Twitter User @eggzsloth
The fans were especially irritated by the agency’s insufficient explanation as to why the request was turned down:
fx-oxygen fan support in COEX mall for f(x) 10th anniversary was turned down yesterday by SM, no proper reason was given except for "company issue" and "Not allowed to resist" and they are now looking for another location last minute to make sure this support happen.
— 함수 의 10주년 (@eggzsloth) September 4, 2019
As the frustration grew, the agency responded and disputed all allegations. A representative from SM Entertainment reported to Korean press that it is simply not true that the agency was involved in “rejecting” the advertisements.
It is not true (that the agency demanded f(x)’s ads to be taken down). The agency has never even been contacted by the advertising management company regarding the campaign.
— SM Entertainment Representative
The agency also clarified that the advertisements to run in the COEX mall are in fact handled by a separate advertising management company, and thus not in the agency’s hands to approve or turn down.
Had the campaign been discussed and signed into contract with this advertising company, it would have been able to run without SM Entertainment’s ‘permission’ at all.
— SpoTV News
Even with SM Entertainment’s statement, f(x) fans remain confused and upset as to the exact reason why the campaign at COEX had to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, member Amber Liu has recently announced her departure from SM Entertainment: