Supercar vending machine film row: Senatus responds to STB

The managing director of luxury lifestyle magazine Senatus has called on Visit Singapore to “appreciate” the work of content creators after the media house’s ‘car vending machine’ video was reposted on Facebook without credit being given to the publication.

Kien Lee, the MD, was part of the online magazine team that made the viral video showing Singapore’s Autobahn Motors dealership. He said that the Singapore Tourism Board, responsible for Visit Singapore, should have added a link to the Senatus video in the first place.

Singaporean blogger and DDB creative director Benjamin ‘Mr Miyagi’ Lee had publicly called out Visit Singapore on his Facebook page, leading to the body adding a link and Senatus credit some several hours later.

In a statement shared with Mumbrella Asia, Kien Lee said: “If a formal request [for the video] had been made, we would have been happy to provide the original high-res video for STB’s Facebook page to post with proper credits.

“Going forward, I hope the team at STB will appreciate the hard work content creators put into their work. Once in a blue moon, we get lucky and it goes viral. While clicks and views aren’t monetised by Facebook page owners, the investment that we make in great content raises the visibility of our own digital properties. Otherwise, how do we grow our own presence?

“STB should have just re-done the post and directly shared the link to our original video would have been the right thing to do.”

He added: “I believe Facebook has since removed the unauthorised and unflattering low-res version of the video STB put up.”

Following negative comments on Facebook, a Visit Singapore administrator used the social network to indirectly apologise: “We have messed up and have apologised to the content owner.”

STB’s director of digital and content Terrence Voon and Ara Hampartsoumian, managing director of the body’s creative agency TBWA Singapore, issued the following statement:

“STB and TBWA fully respect intellectual property rights, and it is part of our processes to seek permissions for re-posted content.

“However on 19 May, we made a genuine mistake by not obtaining required permission to use the video titled ‘The world’s largest luxury car “vending machine”‘ from Senatus on the VisitSingapore Facebook page. We contacted Senatus immediately upon learning of our mistake to apologise, and offered solutions to resolve the issue.

“We are truly sorry for this oversight and will be reviewing our processes to prevent a recurrence.”


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