The Group CEO of Singtel has apologised to both M1 and StarHub after it was publicly revealed that its appointed agency, Gushcloud, allegedly issued a brief to its social media bloggers to write poor reviews about Singtel's rivals.
In a statement posted to Singtel's Facebook on March 19, 2015, CEO Chua Sock Koong said:
“We regret that 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.”
"The senior management and I apologise, in particular to M1 and Starhub, that our actions in this incident did not live up to our high standards and values.'
This is the full statement:
On March 17, Singtel and Gushcloud both apologised for the marketing campaign that disparaged its rivals.
Singtel had explained that its employee failed to adhere to the marketing standards that forbid negative campaigns and that this incident was an "isolated" one.
However, it was left ambiguous in the CEO's statement and news reports if the staff who committed the error was asked to leave or was fired.
M1 and StarHub mulling legal action
It was reported earlier that StarHub is exploring taking legal action Singtel.
Jeannie Ong, StarHub's chief marketing officer, said:
"We have written to Singtel on this matter and are assessing our legal options."
"Such marketing tactics are unethical and we do not condone such negative campaigns."
The telco wants Singtel to take responsibility to ensure all false and disparaging comments created and proliferated by its staff and Gushcloud are "retracted and corrected".
An M1 spokesman said it had noted Singtel's apology, but "will explore further action if necessary".
The Infocomm Development Authority is also investigating to see if its Telecom Competition Code, imposed on all licensees, was breached.
We are contacting Singtel and Gushcloud for comments and will update this post with any developments.
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