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Mattress Company Fined VND137m for Half-Naked Santas on Hanoi Metro

A mattress company was fined VND137 million for its recent advertising stunt involving half-naked men showing off their abs on the Hanoi metro.

According to Yan, the men were hired by Vua Nệm, or Mattress King, company for a publicity stunt. They boarded the metro at Vành Đai 3 station, fully clothed as Santa Clauses. Once inside, the Santas took off their shirts, revealing chiseled stomachs, and started taking photos with Mattress King’s “70% off” signs. The single metro employee presented at the time was too startled to stop the act. 

The pictures drew a lot of attention, not all of it good. Many people criticized the stunt, calling it “offensive” and “immoral.” Mattress King has removed the photos since.

This is the second time the company has employed abs for advertising. In November, they hired men to bike around Ho Chi Minh City to promote their Black Friday sale; the men wore shorts, hats, masks, and nothing else. 

Mattress King is not alone in capitalizing on muscles to sell products. For example, earlier this year, a Korean man sold watermelon while dressing as Mai An Tiêm, with nothing but a loincloth. His action drew more positive attention than Mattress King’s, though both are potentially illegal. According to Vietnam’s 2012 Advertisement Law, companies running advertisements contrary to Vietnam’s culture and moral standard could be fined VND40–60 million.

[Photos via Yan]

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