Singtel admits staff did not adhere to marketing standards

A day after the news of Singtel mandating its agency to bad mouth competitors broke, the telco has confessed to staff “not adhering to its marketing standards.”

In a statement Johan Buse, VP of consumer marketing, Singtel said.

“We refer to our digital youth campaign in June 2014 with Gushcloud. We would like to clarify that this was a niche campaign targeted at a narrow customer segment.”

It further read that the staff who worked with Gushcloud on the marketing campaign in June last year did not adhere to Singtel’s marketing standards.

“As an organisation, we maintain high marketing standards and do not condone negative campaigns or publicity against any individuals or organisations. Our focus has always been on the strength and differentiators of our products and services.”

“We apologise for this isolated incident.  We will emphasise to our staff and agencies our marketing standards and the importance of adhering to industry guidelines including the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice.”

Meanwhile, Vincent Ha, CEO, Gushcloud also released a statement on the issue. Here is the complete statement.

“In June 2014, Gushcloud was engaged by Singtel to run a campaign for the Youth Plan promotion using influencers.

The campaign’s intention was to leverage on our influencers to promote the benefits of the plan.In preparing the brief to our influencers, we had discussions with the client’s project team. But as an influencer marketing company, we should known better and made better recommendations to our client.

Because of that, we have let our influencers and our client down with the way the campaign turned out and we are sorry.

It goes against the management’s belief to use the Internet for spreading negative messages. We stand for a better and safer Internet, because that is the environment we want our children to grow up in. But it was also my responsibility to ensure that a clear code of conduct and the necessary guidelines were put in place for my staff. The fallout from this episode that my team and our influencers went through was unpleasant to say the least and I would like to apologise to them.

That being said, we do not condone the actions of Wendy Cheng, because we feel it has done far more harm than good to our industry.

We remain open to work together with any party including Nuffnang and other industry members to make this industry better through self-regulation and having proper channels for recourse.

The influencer marketing industry is a house we all live in. If something is broken, let us fix it together.

Moving forward, my team and I are committed to doing better for everyone.

  • We have initiated talks with various industry partners including regulatory bodies and established companies to create proper guidelines for the influencer marketing industry.
  • We are implementing and educating the Gushcloud team and our influencers on a clear code of conduct and recommended practices.
  • We have started an internal audit of our business and taken stock on the areas that we are lacking.
  • We want to better care for our influencers. We not only want to educate them on what they should or should not do, but also nurture a positive personal brand for each of them.
  • Transparency in the business is important and I hope that the platform we will be rolling out in a few months will making the influencer marketing industry more transparent and productive for all.

Thank you for giving us a chance to do better.”