StarHub and M1 accept Singtel CEO's apology for smear campaign

StarHub and M1 accept Singtel CEO's apology for smear campaign

SINGAPORE - StarHub and M1 have accepted a public apology from Singtel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong for a smear campaign that ran last year.

Ms Chua apologised to the two telcos on Thursday night in a post published by Singtel's offical Facebook account.

 She stated that the company had worked with "a digital agency to promote a youth marketing campaign" and "that a Singtel employee who worked on this campaign did not adhere to our professional standards and values".

"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," wrote Ms Chua.

StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai said in a statement on Friday: "We note and accept Singtel group CEO's apology."

M1's assistant general manager of corporate communications Chua Hian Hou said: "We accept Singtel's apology and will not be taking further action."

The Infocomm Deveopment Authority is investigating whether Singtel had breached Singapore's Telecom Competition Code imposed on all telecommunications licensees.

Blogger Wendy Cheng, better known as Xiaxue, posted on her website last Saturday a leaked email from 2014 from social media agency Gushcloud.

In the email, Gushcloud gave instructions to its bloggers to complain about M1 and StarHub's network connection and services, in a bid to promote Singtel's youth plan.

Ms Cheng also posted samples of published online complaints of StarHub and M1 from various social media platforms.

Singtel apologised on Tuesday and explained that its marketing standards that forbid negative campaigns had not been followed.

In Ms Chua's apology, she stated that the employee involved in the campaign is no longer with the company and that Singtel has also terminated Gushcloud's service.

It is not known if the employee in question was sacked or had already left the company.

klim@sph.com.sg

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