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NTUC Income's publicity stunt with local actress backfires

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Last week local MediaCorp actress Rebecca Lim announced her retirement on Instagram and asked fans to be happy for her. Little did her fans know, it was just a publicity stunt.The 29 year old actress made the announcement on Instagram which was then covered by several local media outlets and support from fans poured in. Then, in a surprising turn of events, the blossoming actress released this video explaining the whole incident.Posted by Rebecca Lim 林慧玲 on Friday, February 12, 2016 In the video she says “Nope I am not leaving my job. I love it too much. I have however signed a retirement plan with NTUC Income. And it is a relief to know that I am saving a little each day for my future.”What is not a relief for the young actress however is that her fans are left a little dumb founded and somewhat unhappy. The video posted just three days ago has since gotten over 800 shares and more than 2000 likes.One fan said: “This was a disgusting marketing ploy. Did NTUC Income think it up or did you?”Another fan also commented that that was the “best way” the actress could kill the trust of viewers.“You turned people's genuine concerns into a laughing stock. Totally ridiculous. I hope NTUC pays you well for it. Because it has back fired real-time for you but created an awareness (be in good or bad) in NTUC products. It is disappointing to see this from you.”According to an article on The Straits Times, Lim on Friday night apologised for the misunderstanding over a media conference call but insisted she would not have changed how the stunt was executed.Meanwhile NTUC Income also said in a Facebook post: "We did not set out to mislead through Rebecca's 'retiring' announcement. Instead, we hoped to draw attention to the importance of securing one's financial future. We are glad that Rebecca has begun that journey, and hope her personal story will inspire young Singaporeans to embark on their retirement planning."Marketing has also reached out to NTUC Income and its marketing agency BBH Asia Pacific for more comments on the matter.Inadequate PR planning?Edwin Yeo, general manager of SPRG Singapore was of the view that the stunt, while creating talkability, did not hit the spot as talk of Lim’s retirement overshadowed the actual messaging.“I don’t think the overall stunt worked in NTUC Income’s favour. The idea was potentially a good one seeing how Lim is a well known young artist who can discuss retirement plans. But the PR agency behind the stunt should have conducted a scenario planning before the announcement to anticipate the reactions,” Yeo said.Seeing the current spiral of events, Yeo was of the view that proper planning was not undertaken. 

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