News

Singapore prize platform LoveWin chased for $50,000 in agency fees

Another Singaporean company has been accused of failing to pay its agency suppliers.

LoveWin: Facing claims from agencies Text100 and Type A

Start-up LoveWin, which allows users to win luxury prizes in return for buying gaming points, allegedly owes the communications agency Text100 and social media shop Type A more than S$50,000 collectively for social media campaigns carried out between December and May this year.

Text100 was tasked with managing social media content, including Facebook and Instagram posts, for LoveWin between December and February.

Following the contract’s termination in February, the two parties were left in a dispute over the $48,000 bill. LoveWin claims Text 100 agreed to halve the bill because it had not acquired as many subscribers for the brand as agreed, while the agency disputes this and claims the full bill needs to be settled.

The work was then taken over by social media agency Type A, which was tasked with handling content creation, strategy and social media spend for campaigns dated between February and April and then May and April this year. However, LoveWin has so far only paid Type A $5,000, with fees totalling more than S$30,000 yet to be paid.

LoveWin’s founder and chief executive Marcus Savage has told Mumbella Asia that his startup is subject to a “cashflow crunch”.

Unpaid bills: Marcus Savage. Source LinkedIn

Text100 has since sent a legal letter of notice to LoveWin, while Type A is yet to do so, but managing director Kristian Olsen said the agency was mulling it.

Olsen told Mumbrella Asia: “Trust. Respect. Professionalism. That’s what we expect in a working relationship between clients and their agency partners. We work together with clients and tirelessly put in hours of effort to make things gel for a brand and its product.

“The collective aim is to make everything we do a success, whether it’s driving people to a brand’s webpage, event or to create a presence for it in the market.  Running a business in Singapore is challenging enough as it is, and given the effort and the work one pours in, the least one would expect would be one’s rightful dues. Singapore is also a very small market so it’s not only unprofessional but also myopic to run afoul of the law in paying suppliers on time.”

Text100 senior vice president and managing director Marc Ha told Mumbrella Asia: “As an agency, we have given time and resources [to the campaign] and we want to make sure we get paid for it.

“We have to send the right message or what’s to stop other clients from doing the same? We are in talks with our legal counsel and have sent a letter of legal notice.”

Founded as a social enterprise in 2015, LoveWin is an online platform where people buy annual membership for US$1 and then buy additional points that can be used to play games. Game winners can then win luxury prizes and travel experiences.

According to a promotional video, LoveWin claims to donate all membership fees and 5 per cent of game fees to charitable causes such as Rare Disorders Society Singapore and Thailand’s Wishing Well Foundation.

Mumbrella Asia also understands that independent agency Arcade was responsible for developing creative work for LoveWin during the same period, although the agency was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

In a statement to Mumbrella Asia, Savage disputed Text100’s claims. He said: “We appointed Text100 as our Social Media Agency to manage our social media accounts in Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan (Text100 used the term ‘critical mass acquisition’). Under the terms of its appointment, Text100 had to procure 1,000 to 2,000 subscribers (critical mass) for our mini campaign launch and for our soft launch – 10,000 to 12,000 subscribers.

“The total bill was S$47,778.00 for work to be performed from 13th December 2016 to around 20th February 2017. As it became clear that Text100 was not able to procure the 1,000 to 2,000 subscribers, we decided to terminate its services. At the time, Text100 had not even managed to procure more than 150 sign-ups. We came to an agreement with Text100 to end the working relationship, and we paid Text100 $23,889.00, which is half of the contract sum of $47,778.00, even though it had not delivered on its promise.”

However, when Mumbrella Asia put this claim to Text100, it stated no such agreement to halve the fee had been made. Savage did not respond to this site’s invitation to provide evidence of his claim that Text100 had agreed to cut the fee.

Regarding Type A, Savage said: “The total bill payable to Type A was $52,112.00, of which $18,864.00 has been paid, leaving a balance of $33,248.00. We are in constant contact with Kristian [Olsen], and have explained to him our reason for the delay in paying the balance $33,248.00.”

He added: “We are somewhat surprised that you find our current cashflow crunch sufficiently newsworthy to publish in your newsletter…  We have, indeed, continued to honour our obligations as and when funds are available.”

Last week, tech provider Dianomi revealed its Singaporean agency partner Social Metric owes S$11,333 in outstanding bills for work contracted in 2015.

ADVERTISEMENT

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.

 

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing