HYBE Accused of Album Sales Inflation: ADOR’s Min Hee-jin Unveils Controversy

사진=YTN 유튜브 생중계 영상 캡처

In startling music industry news last month, snippets of a conversation between ADOR’s head honcho, Min Hee-jin, and her close associate were made public. The topic of discussion? A plot to bring to light HYBE’s alleged malpractice of album-pushing, a term referring to the inflation of album sales through bulk ordering or hastily planned fan events.


On the 17th of the month, a text exchange between Min and her deputy was disseminated within the music industry. Min instructed her deputy to “gather evidence of album-pushing and strategize a response to the ensuing public backlash.” Min also made predictions on the public’s reaction to their exposé, stating, “Regardless of whether the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) decides to investigate or not, it’s not my concern. Do you think people will simply say ‘The FTC didn’t investigate, so it’s no big deal’?” She foresaw the public criticizing the FTC for their lack of action and accusing them of being in HYBE’s pocket.

Min emphasized, “The real story here is why Nu-jin’s parents felt the need to report HYBE to the FTC. That’s the headline. You idiot.”

When her deputy responded affirmatively, Min shot back, “How did you manage to survive in this organization being such a dimwit?” Later, Min’s team presented an email in court, alleging that they had been pressurized by HYBE to engage in album-pushing for Nu-jin’s album.

In an email addressed to HYBE on the 16th of the previous month, Min declared, “The major issue with HYBE is their ongoing engagement in unethical practices without any hint of self-criticism. The most glaring example is ‘album-pushing’.” Min revealed that ADOR had been urged by HYBE to boost Nu-jin’s album sales by a staggering 100,000 copies to shatter Espa’s existing sales record, an offer which ADOR rejected outright as it contradicted their business principles.

Min’s legal team stated, “The moment we sent an email blowing the whistle on ‘Nu-jin’s Plagiarism’ and ‘The Habit of Album-Pushing,’ HYBE hit back with unfounded accusations of ‘Suspicion of Management Right Seizure’ and responded with an unwarranted audit.”

뉴진스 /인스타그램
뉴진스 /인스타그램

HYBE publicly responded to Min on the 22nd of the same month, stating, “HYBE does not engage in album-pushing. We’ve clarified this to ADOR on multiple occasions.” HYBE challenged ADOR’s allegations, arguing, “The claim that it’s okay when Nu-jin does it but it’s album-pushing when other artists do it, holds no water.”

HYBE further stated, “We can’t help but suspect the ulterior motives behind the sudden, baseless accusations leveled against us. We express deep regret for these unfounded claims and assure that we will take all necessary legal steps against any illicit attempts to usurp our management rights.”