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Not the Hottest Summer in 100 Years?

Posted May. 25, 2005 03:33,   


“Stop the radio commercials. Change the advertisement slogans in the stores.”

Marketing managers of summer products companies, who were preparing for large-scale promotion events banking on heat waves this summer, are in a hurry to change their strategies.

The Korea Meteorological Administration announced that this summer will not be “the hottest one in a century” on May 23.

On the basis of remarks from an official of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), who raised the possibility of “the worst heat wave in 100 years,” companies selling summer-related products have been engaged in “scorching heat summer sales promotions.”

Baskin-Robbins held an emergency meeting on May 24 and has decided to change the story of its radio commercial. In a recent radio commercial promoting “Ice Cooler,” a female weather broadcaster warns of the hottest summer in a century and cannot finish forecasting because of the hot weather. The company changed its mind with a modified weather forecast.

Jung Hwa-sung, a manager of marketing at Baskin-Robbins said that the company decided to change the commercial on the understanding that it could cause negative effects for consumers.

Binggrae, a food company, is considering adjusting its ice cream product line.

Park Il-hwan, a public relations chief of Binggrae, said that the company is looking into a strategy in which it reduces the weight of products with much ice and increases the production of ice creams containing much cream.

Air conditioner manufacturers, who have enjoyed the high demand thanks to the forecast of scorching heat earlier this year, are forced to change their strategies.

Samsung Electronics is in a bind over whether it will continue the sales promotion event in which the company has promised to support the electricity bill when there are more than nine consecutive days with daytime highs exceeding 34 degrees Celsius.

The company decided to withdraw the advertisement related to “the hottest summer in 100 years” in stores.

Buyers in department stores who are supposed to sell summer clothing in late May and early June are busy too.

It is all the more disappointing since department stores expected a greater than 30 percent sales growth of summer apparel compared to last summer since the forecast.

Lotte Department Store is reviewing the possibility for the company to advance sales events of clothes, such as jackets and cardigans, that people wear on cool days.

Jun Jae-bum, a buyer of electronics department of Hyun Dai Department Store, mentioned that if Korea sees a rather cool summer, manufacturers will have to stage events for selling summer products as soon as possible.

On the news that there will not be the worst heat wave in a century, stock prices of some summer products manufacturers tumbled on May 24.

The stock price of Shinil Corporation, a fan manufacturer, fell 9.04 percent to 3,420 won. Lotte Samkang and Binggrae, ice cream makers, saw stock prices fall by 6.0 percent and 0.73 percent, respectively.

Jin-Suk Huh Kwang-Hyun Kim jameshuh@donga.com kkh@donga.com