Miss Universe Singapore distances itself from slammed local beauty pageant

Organisers of Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) have distanced the local event from the recent drama surrounding another beauty pageant – namely Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant. This was seen in several posts on MUS’ Facebook page which attempted to clarify the non-affiliation.

Current sponsors of Miss Universe Singapore 2017 include venue sponsor Resorts World Sentosa, product sponsors Hair Studio Apgujeong, B-Fit Singapore and Orchard Scotts Dental.  According to one of the posts, MUS organisers felt the need to address the situation as there was a Facebook page which alleged that former MUS winners Eunice Olsen and Jaime Teo were both from Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant.

“We would like to clarify that they were not, and were instead winners of Miss Universe Singapore,” the post read.

Meanwhile, MUS' Facebook page also shared a screenshot from Miss Universe Singapore 2017 national director Nuraliza Osman. In the Instagram post, Osman highlighted that MUS was "not affiliated to any other pageant in Singapore" before declaring that MUS was still undergoing recruitment for its own event.

Marketing has reached out to Miss Universe Singapore for comment.

The Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2017 first made headlines when its finalists pictures made its rounds online and were criticised by netizens for their appearance and also for not being Singaporeans or permanent residents. Following in MUS’ stead, the Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2017  organisers also clarified that Olsen and Teo were not from Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant, but Miss Universe Singapore.

Currently, Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2017 is sponsored by shoe brand Design & Comfort, Inner Desire and TresLoveChic.

In a conversation with Marketing, Edwin Yeo, general manager of SPRG Singapore, said that MUS' move made sense as the organisation probably felt the need to clarify its non-affiliation with the "critically panned" Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant. Moreover, it is currently undergoing its own recruitment process. He added:

For as long as I can remember, there have been many similarities in names for all the beauty pageants happening locally. Hence brand name protection is essential.

Yeo explained that this is to prevent potential pageant applicants from misunderstanding that it is the same pageant and at the same time, leverage on the controversy to highlight its recruitment process. Meanwhile, some other prominent beauty pageants contests in Singapore include Miss Singapore World, Miss Earth Singapore and Miss Singapore International to name a few.

Agreeing with Yeo was Lars Voedisch, founder of PRecious Communications, who added that this was a typical crisis communications move in a bid to protect different stakeholders such as its sponsors.

I believe that as a brand, it is always important to not be associated with what might affect its reputation. People might mix up the two and this can result in the wrong associations.

(Photo courtesy: Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant)