IDA warns Singtel over social media smear campaign
By Digital News Asia May 18, 2015
- Singtel warned over negative marketing campaign conducted via Gushcloud
- IDA says it has made it clear in its warning that it will not tolerate such practices
THE Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said it has issued a stern warning to Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) for its role in a negative marketing campaign against competitors M1 Ltd (M1) and StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd.
The campaign was conducted through the social media marketing agency Gushcloud Pte Ltd. The warning comes following the closure of IDA’s investigation into the incident.
“IDA is disappointed that such marketing tactics have been employed by Singtel. IDA has always encouraged licensees to compete by promoting the availability, price and quality of their own services, and not by disparaging those of their competitors,” the regulator said in a statement.
“IDA made it clear in its warning to Singtel that IDA will not tolerate such practices. IDA requires Singtel to put in place the necessary measures to ensure appropriate management oversight and control over its marketing and advertising campaigns in order to prevent future such incidents, and that it should not adopt publicity practices or campaigns that may potentially bring disrepute to the telecommunication industry,” it added.
According to Channel NewsAsia, M1 and StarHub asked the authorities to look into allegations that Singtel, through Gushcloud, had incentivised social media influencers to conduct a smear campaign against them.
In March, prominent blogger Wendy Cheng aka Xiaxue had posted the agency’s brief, “which promised incentives – including cash, discounts on mobile phones and VIP invites to Singtel events – for its influencers if they drove new subscribers to Singtel’s Youth Plan by complaining about the services of M1 and StarHub.
“It also provided templates for the influencers to voice their dissatisfaction,” Channel NewsAsia reported.
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