Singapore slimming brand threatens to sue Nuffnang over stinging post by celeb blogger

Xiaxue's blog post to show bruising effects of cupping

Xiaxue’s post to show bruising effects of slimming treatment

A slimming brand has threatened to take legal action against blog-brand network Nuffnang over a post written by veteran Singapore blogger Xiaxue that criticised a brand she was supposedly endorsing.

Xiaxue, real name Wendy Cheng, wrote a scathing review about a treatment from get-thin firm Slim Couture, which involves the use the traditional Chinese method of “cupping” the skin to lose weight.

Soon after she posted the article in which she criticised the treatment for being ineffective in reducing her weight, being painful and and giving her bruises, she deleted it, saying that she didn’t want to get Nuffnang – who manages the endorsements for her blog – into trouble.

Cheng said she had scrapped the endorsement deal because of the negative effects of using the treatment. She also cited an “ex friend” blogger who had also endorsed Slim Couture, but who Cheng claimed had photoshopped out the bruising supposedly caused by the treatment.

An executive at Slim Couture read the post, which was posted in the early hours of the morning before it was taken down, and has threatened to sue Nuffnang for being “unprofessional” and for publishing “untrue stuffs” [sic] about the treatment.

Cheng wrote in the post, in which she republished the original piece that criticised the product: “I didn’t want to get the Nuffies into trouble as I heard the client can be quite… difficult to deal with.”

She said of the post: “I wrote it at 4am – 5am and deleted it at 530am (thereabouts) because I had wrote [sic] about a company, Slim Couture, that I was supposed to do a slimming ad for.”

“In the end I rejected the ad as the treatment… Well let’s just say it literally sucked (hahaha coz it involves doing ba guan or cupping). The deal went through Nuffnang. When I said I couldn’t advertise for Slim Couture, the Nuffies were very understanding and said ok.”

She added: “For some reason the said client was awake at that time and saw the post, then proceeded to scold the Nuffies anyway, saying Nuffnang is very unprofessional, allowing their bloggers to write bad reviews, even if it only existed for such a short time at an ungodly hour.”

In the original post, Cheng said that she could “barely stomach” an advertorial post another blogger had written about Slim Couture that she considered to be dishonest. It is understood that Cheng was referring to former model and blogger Yan Kay Kay.

She wrote: “I could barely stomach the article as she repeatedly praised herself on how good she looks throughout the blog post… It seemed to be that perhaps the post just an excuse to boast about her figure.”

“But never mind that… After resurfacing from the fathomless pool of humble brags I saw something which made me super irritated. The ba guan/cupping bruises which were a residue of the treatment were photoshopped away,” she said.

Cheng later 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.”

“Protecting a bloggers’ right to freedom of speech – THAT is professionalism,” she said.

She explained: “After a client pays for an ad a blogger has agreed to write for, Nuffnang facilitates and makes sure the ad is properly written and it is specified as an ad. THAT is professionalism.”

“If the deal doesn’t go through and no advert happens, then Nuffnang owes the client nothing. My deal with them was over and resolved long ago. What I write now has nothing to do with Nuffnang’s professionalism AT ALL.”

“Asking bloggers to mask shitty products or services as good, or pander to clients every little wish – THAT IS UNPROFESSIONAL, not to mention unethical,” she wrote.

Neither Nuffnang or Cheng have received a formal legal approach from Slim Couture over the matter.

The scuffle emerges around the same time as Cheng became embroiled in a tit-for-tat with another popular Singaporean blogger Eunice Annabel, who is managed by Nuffnang rival Gushcloud.

Annabel posted an image on Instagram of the Gushcloud blogging team with the words, “So you wanna be on top? Gotta beat us first.”

Gushcloud post on Instagram

Gushcloud post on Instagram

Cheng responded with her own post on Instagram with the Nuffnang team that read: “Wanna be on top? Why don’t you quintuple your followers first? You look like you can’t count, so maybe you can’t. Ask your math teacher for some help.”

Cheng, who has 183,000 Twitter followers, 266,000 fans on Facebook and around 40,000 daily readers of her blog, is to star in her first film, romantic comedy Our Sister Mambo, later this year. She told Mumbrella that she had no planned endorsement deals for the film.


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