Singtel says sorry to M1 and StarHub for smear campaign, fires Gushcloud and employee

The new-look SingtelSingtel has fired an employee and said that it will no longer be using the services of blog-brand network Gushcloud as it moves to distance itself from the controversy of earlier this week, when it emerged that the telco had been paying celebrity bloggers to post negatives comments about its rivals.

Singtel said on Tuesday that it had not issued a brief to Gushcloud to smear its rivals, which goes against the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice.

And last night, Singtel’s boss made a public apology over the matter.

In a Facebook post, Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said: “A Singtel employee who worked on this campaign did not adhere to our professional standards and values. We have since terminated the services of the agency and the employee is no longer with us.”

Chua added that the “management of Singtel and the 10,000 employees who are committed to and live by our values every day are deeply disappointed by this lapse,” and apologised directly to StarHub and M1.

Extract from Gushcloud brief to bloggers

Extract from Gushcloud brief to bloggers

According to a leaked memo exposed by Xiaxue, a popular lifestyle blogger who writes for Gushcloud rival Nuffnang, “influencers” were advised by Gushcloud to complain about M1 and StarHub’s mobile telephone pricing bundles and explain how Singtel’s Youth Plan is superior in a spurt of activity in June last year.

This went against the Singapore Code of Advertising practice, which states that ads “should not unfairly attack or discredit other products, organisations or professions directly or by implication”.


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

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



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