Singtel strips talent contest winner of title hours after crowning

The contest winner for the new face of Singtel TV-Masti Showcase 2015, Yasmeen Munira, lost her title within 12 hours of winning the title of Miss Starlet 2015.

This came after several of her previously made offensive tweets surfaced where she made comments about overweight and ugly Singaporeans. The contest was organised jointly by Singtel TV and MediaCorp’s expat Bollywood music station Radio Masti. The news first broke on SPH’s citizen journalism website Stomp hours after she was crowned on Saturday.

In one tweet she wrote:

"Why is it so hard for fat people to understand that they should not occupy seats on the train?". In another tweet, she commented: "Singaporeans are so ugly...", and added that "putting in a little bit of effort to look good won't kill you".

A full statement from the organisers which said that the title was removed from Munira (pictured) due to “some irresponsible statements made by her” was put up on its Facebook page.

"Neither Singtel TV nor Radio Masti were aware of the same and as soon as the statements were brought to our attention earlier today, this action has been taken. The title has since been moved on to Ms Vijayalakshmi, the first runner up. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Radio Masti managing partner Renuka Arora Bhagat who also hosts the show also publicly addressed the issue yesterday during the programme and echoed similar sentiments as to those made by the organising committee.

Marketing has reached out to both MediaCorp and Singtel for statements.

Wesley Gunter, PR Director of Right Hook Communications said that replacing her was a good move by Singtel. Gunter explained that it showed that the brand was taking a proactive approach to ensure that it is not misrepresented by someone who portrays an image that would be detrimental to the brand.

He added that many big brands have followed this stand of replacing their long time ambassadors. These include the likes of sports brand Nike which replaced Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong once negative news of them emerged.

"For event organisers, doing prior research on which ambassador would fit their brand are very important for their overall public image (e.g a car brand should not pick a celebrity with past DUI charges). New brand ambassadors should also be briefed by the marketing team on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to airing views on social media to prevent any possible PR disasters.”

(Photo courtesy: Masti 96.3 FM, Singapore Facebook page)