Influencer network Netccentric takes lifestyle blogger to court

Influencer company Netccentric's Churp Churp network is suing lifestyle blogger Ang Chiew Ting for a breach of contract. Ang is known by her followers as “Bong Qiu Qiu” and stars in a popular web series called Budget Barbie.

Nuffnang is known to manage prominent influencers such as Xiaxue, Miss Tam Chiak and Jessica Tham to name a few. According to a statement from Churp Churp, Ang entered an agreement with the agency in March 2013 where she agreed to have Churp Churp exclusively manage and negotiate all commercial deals involving her social media accounts.

Since then, Ang had allegedly entered more than 30 commercial, advertising and promotional agreements with brands without Churp’s knowledge, approval and negotiation of said transactions.

“Despite many attempts to amicably resolve the matter, she continued to willfully ignore her contractual obligations. We are left with no choice but to commence legal proceedings against her,” the statement read, adding that it will now respect the legal process and leave the matter to be settled in court.

In a blog post addressing the issue, Ang refuted allegations that she did not fulfil her obligations in her three year contract with Churp Churp. According to reports by Today, she is said to be countersuing on grounds of defamation, along with claims that the agency too breached their agreement with her.

The influencer and social scene in Singapore is still a difficult one to navigate with  little regulation on how brands should include influencers in their marketing efforts. To counter this, most recently the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) issued new guidelines to help navigate the space better.

However there are currently no specific guidelines on how social media or influencer management agencies should manage or conduct their relationships.

Marketing reached out to The Influencer Network (TIN), an integrated influencer marketing and media agency which manages a stable of influencers daily. When asked about how it manages its relationships with its influencers, director and founder Dennis Toh explained that TIN adopts a "loose arrangement" with its bloggers and influencers.

“This is because we recognises the changing facets of the influencer marketing industry. Bloggers are permissible to engage their own activities as long it doesn't jeopardise the image of TIN in whichever way,” Toh added.

TIN has already gone on a long term freelance route for its bloggers as it feels it is a win-win situation given the intricacies involved in managing bloggers and social influencers.

“We are not obliged to promote the bloggers and bloggers have the liberty to manage their own personal brand, work and engagements on digital space,” Toh said.