Traditional Chinese medicine company Eu Yan Sang Singapore has created a HardwareZone forum account to reach out and clarify to consumers about a Chinese New Year greeting message. According to Eu Yan Sang's HardwareZone post, the account was set up to address a CNY message that read, "May longevity, wealth, health, virtue and a natural death- the five blessings come to you."
A Eu Yan Sang spokesperson confirmed to Marketing that it was indeed the Singapore team that created the account and published the post. The post said that the message on the card was crafted and instructed by a verified sender to send to his indicated recipient. "As part of the order process, the gift messages are automatically printed out on the gift cards reflecting the senders’ exact message. The recipient of this message has since reached out to us and we urged him to bring this to the attention of the sender directly," the post added. Marketing has reached out to Eu Yan Sang Singapore for comment.
The image of the CNY greeting message first surfaced on Reddit, and shared four days ago by a user. At the bottom right of the card, it is signed off as "Eu Yan Sang (Singapore) eStore".
This year itself, brands such as NTUC FairPrice and Robinsons found themselves in hot soup for Chinese New Year greeting messages gone wrong.
Local supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice was criticised by netizens for its Chinese New Year t-shirts with the character “shou” (寿) printed on it about two weeks ago. In Mandarin, the term “shouyi” (寿衣) translates to longevity but could also be understood as “longevity clothing”, referring to traditional funeral attire for the deceased. In a statement to Marketing, a NTUC FairPrice spokesperson said the company understands that the product in question may “unfortunately” be misinterpreted as being offensive to some. “We seek our customers’ understanding and apologise if it has caused any unintended meaning other than wishing for Longevity. The item has since been removed from our stores,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Robinsons had to apologised for the wrong adaption of a Chinese New Year message. First reported on AsiaOne, the entrance greeting was meant to read "Cai Bao Shu Dao Fa" (count for wealth and treasures for prosperity) and "Huan Le Shu Dao Xiao" (count your happiness until you smile), but missed out the character "Shu" and left shoppers confused. Some of the netizen comments around the error were aimed at the marketing departments in big companies that is made up of "bananas" (foreigners) who probably do not know anything about the Chinese language, adding that "this truly is an embarrassment to Chinese society".