Plans For X1’s Advertisement Deals Reportedly Shelved Due To “Produce X 101” Vote Rigging Controversy

Many brands are reportedly hesitant to partner with X1 currently as investigations continue into the alleged rigging of votes during “Produce X 101.”

A report by the news outlet Sports Chosun on August 22 stated that according to many sources, most of the discussions related to X1 in regards to advertisements and sponsorships are currently on hold. It’s said that before brands will partner with the group, Mnet needs to settle its current issues.

“Produce X 101” is an Mnet survival show in which contestants vied for spots in an 11-member project group. Even before the start of the show, based on the program’s brand image, “Produce X 101” secured a considerable amount of its production costs through large-sale advertising meetings, and it was clear that there were plans for future advertisements.

While X1 will be making their debut on August 27 as planned, they’re facing a different situation than previous “Produce 101” groups such as Wanna One and IZ*ONE. These groups had many offers coming in for advertisements and photo shoots before their debut, while X1 is dealing with the consequences of the scandal and ongoing investigation regarding allegations that the votes in the show’s finale were manipulated.

Several sources in the advertising industry told Sports Chosun, “Everything has been put on hold after ‘Produce X 101’ ended. We are currently not in discussions in regards to sponsorships or advertisements related to X1.” They received the same response from brands that previously worked with groups related to the “Produce 101” series, as well as brands interested in the domestic and international buzz around the show.

A brand representative told Sports Chosun, “We didn’t have a contract for advertisements for the debut group or support for the filming of their reality show, but we were in the planning stages. However, we decided not to do it. As you may be aware, there’s a negative issue about ‘Produce X 101’ [the vote rigging controversy]. Nothing is in the works right now. We decided to monitor the situation a bit more.”

Another representative stated, “The negative issue has become too large. We have to consider the reactions of consumers. From the point of view of the companies too, they can’t easily step up.” They added, “It’s possible that we may consider it again in the future, but currently our discussions aren’t on hold, the plans have been canceled. We don’t have plans for a photo shoot either.”

Sports Chosun stated that many people have been cautious about partnering with X1 when the “Produce X 101” controversy has even progressed to a legal battle, and they have to consider that advertising is meant for the company’s own image. While it’s not to the scale of a boycott, there is considerable pressure being felt through inquires from customers and comments on social media.

X1 releases their mini album “Quantum Leap” on August 27 and will also perform their premier show-con that day at Gocheok Sky Dome.

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