Singapore agency Social Metric faces legal proceedings for $11,000 unpaid bill

Singaporean social media agency Social Metric is facing a legal battle over a bill of S$11,333 which has been outstanding for 18 months.

Social Metric originally contracted the Sydney-based performance marketing agency Dianomi for an online campaign on behalf of Singaporean insurance company Tokio Marine in November 2015.

The contract gave Social Metric access to Dianomi’s advertising platform for a campaign on behalf of Tokio Marine across several countries over several months.

But despite Tokio Marine paying Social Metric for the campaign, the money was not passed along to Dianomi, the documents suggest. Dianomi first presented a payment invoice to the agency in April 2016, but said that no payment has been forthcoming ever since.


The company has sent more than 30 emails– seen by Mumbrella Asia – regarding payment, which was promised on several occasions. The correspondence was mainly with Marcus Ho, the then-director of Social Metric, the agency’s managing director Clement Wong and New Union, the agency’s holding company. 

Marcus Ho: Source: Social Metric

Dianomi warned that it was about to issue proceedings on June 2 but at the time of publishing is yet to receive payment.

The notice email date on June 2 read: “We write with reference to the above invoices. We note that no payment at all has been received despite many requests and promises to pay. Contracts were duly signed by both of the above companies and services delivered by ourselves.

“Unless payment is received within the next 14 days we will commence proceedings for the above debt plus interest and costs without further notice. We will also contact Tokio Marine insurance regarding this matter.

“We note that no payment at all has been received. Should it transpire that either of the above companies was purporting to purchase services when, in fact, the company could not pay for same then we will request the appropriate authorities to take action against directors.

“Finally, kindly note that you have the dubious distinction of being the only non-payers of a Dianomi invoice in over five years of trading in Singapore.”

Although the 14-day deadline has since expired, Dianomi has not yet formally filed court proceedings.

Dianomi’s sales and marketing director for Asia Pacific Julian Peterson said: “This is a new low in advertising. It’s not just about loss of profit, as we paid money to the publishers, but it’s bad for the business if agencies cannot be taken at face value that they will pay their bills.

“We have traded in Singapore for five years and this is the first time we have not had invoices paid. We are very surprised and disappointed.”

In the correspondence between Social Metric and Dianomi, it was revealed that Ho, an author of the social media marketing book Social Payoff, resigned as director in April this year. Wong is also now understood to have recently left. However, the two of them remain listed on Social Metric’s website as a members of the management team.

When contacted by Mumbrella Asia regarding the unpaid bills, Ho said: “At the time of the outstanding bills, Social Metric was wholly owned by New Union. There were other directors on the board with me. Payment had to be raised and approved by more than one director, and despite doing what was required of me, some payments did not happen.”

Wong was unable to respond before the time of publication.

The agency’s accounting is now being handled by New Union. Along with Tokio Marine, the agency lists on its website clients including 3M, Absolut Vodka and Qatar Airways.

New Union declined to comment on the story “at this point in time”. 


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