Sure, Iggy’s may be considered by some as one of the best fine dining restaurants in the country — but its recent marketing caper might have left a rancid taste in everyone’s mouths.
The one-Michelin starred eatery is in its 15th year of existence (a proper feat considering the high turnover rate in Singapore’s F&B industry) and they’re celebrating with a one-night-only collaboration with Modern Singaporean cuisine pioneer Chef Willin Low from Wild Rocket.
In the gusto of getting the word out earlier today (Sept 19), the Hilton Hotel stronghold made the decision to be questionably edgy in the copy of their Instagram post. Fusing elements of Iggy’s 15-year-anniversary celebration and the four-hands dinner team up with Wild Rocket, the marketing department decided to push the boundaries of palatability… with a post that could be interpreted with nefarious pedophilic overtones.
Food writer and restaurant critic Timothy DePeugh promptly called it out on Instagram, branding Iggy’s post to be “unacceptable” and “disappointing”, especially so for a Michelin-starred restaurant.
“Human trafficking (not to mention pedophilia) is never funny. Shame on [Iggy’s] and [Chef Willin Low] for making the joke and for trying to capitalise at the expense of victims,” wrote DePeugh.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurant got put on blast with commenters expressing their disgust over the tawdry joke. Iggy’s social media team responded on DePeugh’s post with an apology (sort of), but it was an angry one that chided the writer for publicly shaming the restaurant. But at least their problematic post was taken down.
Iggy’s then received a new round of condemnation over their response, including a terse reply from DePeugh.
It was Chef Low who eventually issued a follow-up response to the hullabaloo, apologising forthright for the mistake and explaining the thought process for the copy.
“We wanted to pun on the word ‘wild’ because of our restaurant’s name “Wild Rocket” and the fact that (it was) Iggy’s 15th anniversary. We thought of how crazy and wild a 15-year-old will be celebrating a birthday. We agree it is unacceptable to capitalise on any victims and assure you that was never our intent. We admit it is a terrible mistake that we will learn from. Thank you for pointing it out.”
Iggy’s has since replaced their Instagram post with a far safer copy to promote their dinner event that’s happening next Tuesday (Sept 24).