(Ministry of Economy and Finance's Twitter account)
The Ministry of Economy and Finance is facing criticism over social media posts pitting consumers who go for regular burgers against those who prefer premium burgers.
“Burgers versus handmade burgers. What is your consumer trend?” the post which was uploaded last week read.
The post went on to describe two different consumers, one who waited for three hours in line in Gangnam for a gourmet burger and the other who spent less than 30,000 won grocery shopping.
On Twitter, users have accused the ministry of being “out of touch."
“Do you realize it is small business owners who run most of the handmade burger restaurants?” one tweet read.
“Whether it is handmade burgers or supermarket burgers, people have a right to buy whatever they want,” another tweet read.
Others took the opportunity to share information about their favorite burger restaurants, openly mocking the ministry’s tweet.
The backlash comes just days after another social media post by the ministry promoting a “no-spend” challenge that was deleted following backlash.
The challenge marks a growing trend among millennial and Generation Z consumers who are seeking to save money amid rising inflation.
The idea is to be resourceful in cutting expenses by cooking with leftovers or opting for instant coffee rather than indulging at franchise coffeehouses -- and to share the journey on social media.
Earlier last month, the Finance Ministry described the challenge in social media posts, encouraging people to write reviews to earn loyalty points to get a free cup of coffee or to sell secondhand items online to earn some extra cash.
Though the description of the challenge is apt, it sparked debate online over whether the ministry that oversees the financial policies of the government should discourage spending while consumption continues to fall.
“When the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who is responsible for keeping the economy alive, tells people not to spend money, what happens to small business owners?” said Yoon Hee-sook, a standing representative of the minor progressive Jinbo Party in a tweet.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org