StarHub mulls legal action against Singtel

In a statement to Marketing, StarHub has confirmed that it is currently mulling legal action against rival Singtel for the recent smear campaign online.

The issue first surfaced earlier this week when a prominent blogger posted on her website that social media agency Gushcloud had instructed its bloggers to spread negative messages on StarHub and M1 services.

StarHub’s CMO Jeannie Ong said that the company has written to Singtel on the matter and are assessing its legal options. She added that the company is concerned about the damage the campaign has done to StarHub’s brand and reputation arising from the artificial complaints made about the network and services.

“It is important that Singtel takes responsibility to ensure that all false and disparaging comments created and proliferated by their staff and their digital media agency must be forthwith retracted and corrected. Such marketing tactics are unethical and we do not condone such negative campaigns,” said Ong.

Meanwhile M1 said it noted the “competitor’s apology for the marketing campaign that disparaged M1 and its assurance that it was an isolated incident.”

“ The competitor has been quoted as saying that it does not condone such negative campaigns or publicity and we hope that future marketing efforts will comply with relevant industry guidelines,” said a spokesperson from M1.

Currently the IDA is also investigating the matter.

Yesterday, Singtel’s VP of consumer marketing Johan Buse apologised for the campaign which ran last year and added that the the staff who worked with Gushcloud on the marketing campaign in June last year did not adhere to Singtel’s marketing standards. He added that as an organisation, SingTel aims to maintain high marketing standards and do not condone negative campaigns or publicity.

“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,” said Buse.

Gushcloud’s CEO Vincent Ha has also apologised for the incident.