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Singapore blogger Xiaxue posts instructions from sponsor for how to write a picture caption

Xiaxue's Instagram post, pic: Stomp

Xiaxue’s Instagram post, pic: Stomp

A popular Singapore blogger has raised questions about her editorial integrity after she posted an image on Instagram that revealed instructions from a sponsor about how she should write a picture caption for the product she was promoting.

Before it was deleted and replaced with a new version, an Instagram caption written by fashion and beauty blogger Xiaxue, real name Wendy Cheng, began with: “Hello Wendy! Here’s your EDITED caption for Skinny Mint tea 2nd IG [Instagram].”

The edited caption, with that part deleted, reads: “Loving my SkinnyMint tea! The morning boost is supposed to make you less bloated, increase alertness, lessen cravings and snackings, and have anti anxiety properties!”

Cheng told Mumbrella that she had “nothing to hide” and that is was “protocol” for clients to vet captions and photos before publishing.

She said: “It is actually protocol that bloggers have their clients go through their captions and photos before approving them and then us publishing them.”

“During the edit, sometimes clients may change some wordings or correct spellings or put in additional info. Most of the time they will only do minute changes to my caption.”

“In this instance, all that was changed was that the client added in that there is free shipping. My caption was sent through Nuffnang for client approval, and client sent my Nuffnang manager the edited caption, who sent it to me through Whatsapp. I cut and paste it without realising the front bit involved a bit of extra text,” she wrote.

Cheng said she didn’t know why people are “getting their panties in a bunch and somehow assuming that this proves my captions are all written in entirety by the client.”

“If that is true, why would there be an edited caption???” she said.

The incident comes a few weeks after Cheng’s agent, Nuffnang, was threatened with legal action after Cheng posted a blog criticising a product just after she had broken off an endorsement deal with the brand owner, Chinese medicine firm Slim Couture.

Cheng wrote: “I’d rather forgo thousands of dollars than risk my readers blaming me for making them lose shitloads of money because they trusted me and when to pay for something I vouched for.”

On her approach to endorsement deals, Cheng said that Nuffnang has “no say” over what she writes on her blog and that Nuffnang “places blogger editorial freedom first.”

She wrote: “Without real, true opinions, a blogger has no credibility. A blogger with no credibility cannot sell ads, and Nuffnang cannot exist.”

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