As marketing shifts from traditional to social media channels, advertisers and agencies has followed the crowd (i.e money) and turned the social media marketing space into the equivalent of the old Wild Wild West.
The Gushcloud and SingTel saga is the latest prove of that.
Colts are now being replaced by mechanical keyboards and the internet but just like the cowboys, agencies and individuals are more than willing to shoot from the hip in hopes of hitting the target.
Some can hit the target from a mile away while others can miss by more than a mile.
Gushcloud and SingTel are examples of such hopeless cowboys.
In an apparent breach of Singapore’s code of practice on comparative advertising, SingTel was found to have engaged Gushcloud bloggers to deliberately write negative things about its rivals (i.e. M1 and Starhub). (Source: CNA)
The news came to light when a blogger (Xiaxue) from NuffNagg (Gushcloud competitor) leaked a brief on her blog.
In our opinion, the whole saga stinks. It reeks of sabotage, bad blood and territorial dispute.
SingTel has eventually apologised. Gushcloud’s CEO has also said that his company is sorry. (See their apologies here)
We, the customers are the one that were played; signing years of contract with them after being hoodwinked into believing that they were indeed better.
It sucks to know this now. It highlights the importance of information awareness and to take comments on the Internet with a pinch of salt.
Social media allows brands to build communities around shared interests and goals. It is meant to co-create value.
Gushcloud and SingTel have betrayed this trust.
Gushcloud and SingTel are now in a a different kind of gunfight- salvaging whatever credibility that they have left.
Sometimes you don’t need bullets to win a gunfight. You need heart.
And when it is all done and dusted “There will be no funeral” – Chamlee, The Magnificient Seven (1960)