SINGAPORE - The Finest Festival campaign is about celebrating food that brings people together and serving as a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to interact ("Expats' dinner invitations: 'Sweet' gesture hits sour note online"; Monday).
A series of four dinners was planned for the festival, and the hosts were selected based on their ability to prepare an authentic home-cooked meal unique to their culture, among other qualities.
The first invitation was intentionally launched unbranded to spark people's interest in sharing and experiencing other cultures, and the campaign was subsequently introduced in the other invitations and videos.
The dinner is a genuine event and the participants were not paid actors. We have since communicated this in all our materials. The feedback received from the participants has been encouraging and this was reflected in the article.
Also, some of the guests told us they were inspired to organise and host their own dinners in future to promote a stronger community spirit.
This is not the first time we have bonded the community through cooking and food. Three years ago, we launched the Family Cook Off to facilitate families and communities' closeness.
Nonetheless, we appreciate the feedback received on this campaign and have taken note of the various comments. We will learn from this and thank everyone for their concern and understanding.
Christina Lim (Ms) Director, Brand & Marketing NTUC FairPrice
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.