CJ ENM Reportedly Rebranding Mnet Following “Produce 101” Controversy
According to the Maeil Business Newspaper, CJ ENM has begun restructuring Mnet’s “We Are K-Pop” slogan and brand after the “Produce 101” controversy hit the network’s image hard.
The outlet cites sources in the entertainment industry as stating that the music channel Mnet has begun internal steps to re-establish its brand identity. It’s reported that after the creation process is complete, they’ll collect feedback before announcing the new slogan and more in the first half of the year. It’s only been a year since Mnet took on the “We Are K-Pop” slogan, but it looks like it will be retired soon.
Maeil Business Newspaper describes the reason for the rebranding as the “Produce 101” vote manipulation controversy, in which the show’s producers admitted to rigging the lineups of the survival show’s final groups and Mnet issued an official apology. The scandal led to restrictions on the activities of the series’s groups IZ*ONE and X1, with months-long hiatuses for both groups culminating in the disbandment of X1 and a three-month delay for IZ*ONE’s album release. After the controversy, K-pop fans have been questioning the network’s slogan as they ask, “Does Mnet deserve to say ‘We Are K-Pop’?”
On December 30, CJ ENM announced that all profits received by Mnet through its manipulated programs would be used to create a fund for the active development of the music industry and the growth of K-pop. A 253 million won (approximately $213,700) fund has been created, and the management of the money has been entrusted to the culture and art investment company KCVentures.
Many are curious to see if Mnet will be able to change public opinion of the network after its rebranding. It’s now been 25 years since CJ ENM started the channel, and Maeil Business Newspaper writes that even amid the controversy, the network has also been known for the success of shows such as “Superstar K,” “Show Me the Money,” “M Countdown,” and “Queendom.”
It’s said that Mnet plans to include their aspirations for the next 10 years within their new brand. The network is reportedly planning to establish a brand image that emphasizes the message of “back to the basics.”
Mnet is also said to be working on special programs and digital content to celebrate its 25th anniversary. A source from the company stated, “This year, considering that it is the 25th anniversary of Mnet’s foundation, we will try to contribute to the music industry with a new brand identity.”