Xiaxue’s exposé Part 2: Leaked phone conversation reveals Gushcloud co-founder has no qualms inflating advertising figures

This is bad for the online advertising industry in Singapore.

Martino Tan| March 14, 05:03 PM

Last Christmas, blogger Xiaxue was the grinch who stole blogger advertising network Gushcloud's Christmas as she accused the company of inflating its revenues and its bloggers’ influence.

This March, she is the pedantic form teacher who spoilt Gushcloud's school holidays with homework as Xiaxue published Part II of “The Big Gushcloud Exposé".

In this latest piece, which is a continuation of the previous effort in unearthing unethical blogging practices, Xiaxue revealed that Gushcloud provided instructions to their stable of bloggers to slime telcos M1 and StarHub as part of their blogging services to promote SingTel’s new mobile plan for youths.

Besides this juicy revelation, the saddest part of the exposé -- that is also highly incriminating for Gushcloud and a major dent on whatever's left of their reputation -- is when the blogger advertising network's co-founder Althea Lim is recorded in a phone conversation teaching naughty things to a young intern who used to work for her:

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In this leaked phone conversation between Lim and a blogger, she gives one the impression that Gushcloud has the liberty to mislead advertisers about their statistics because every marketeer in the Silicon Valley does so:

"Let's say, for example, we have 170,000 users, we go and tell advertisers that we have 180,000 users. This one, sounds like it comes from me. 200,000? Okay, sounds like it comes from me."

"But this one, every person, every marketeer, in the (Silicon) valley does it."

"You have 1,000 users, You will say that you have 1,000 users meh? You will say, I have, I'm growing to 10,000 users, agree?"

This one, I dare to say, I got tell him. If we are at 170,000 users, I will tell him to say that we are growing to 200 thousand users."

This view doesn't gel with Gushcloud CEO Vincent Ha's explanation previously last December after the first exposé threatened to derail his operations and forced him to personally come out and explain and clarify in no uncertain terms that his company did not inflate their bloggers' statistics.

This was what Ha said in their previous official response:

"Did we grossly inflate our Influencers’ views? No. The numbers and graphs speak for themselves. But this episode has further validated a need for us to implement technology to keep our numbers updated."

Well, Ha is technically not wrong.

Perhaps Gushcloud just did not grossly inflate its bloggers' statistics.

Related article:

Xiaxue’s exposé Part 2: Gushcloud asked bloggers to smear M1, StarHub to promote SingTel


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