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'Not funny at all': Property agent's flier gets flak for looking like a parking summons

'Not funny at all': Property agent's flier gets flak for looking like a parking summons
The Council for Estate Agencies is aware of the matter and is looking into it.
PHOTO: Facebook/Complaint Singapore Unrestricted

SINGAPORE - A real estate agent has come under fire for placing on the windscreen of a car a flier designed to look like a parking summons.

In a post on Facebook page Complaint Singapore Unrestricted on Saturday, an anonymous person wrote: “Got this on my windscreen. I must say that this is very lame and not funny at all! No driver likes to see this kind of joke on their windscreen!

“And you jolly well don’t litter with your cheap marketing gimmick on our cars! If it rains, this will stick on to the windscreen!”

The flier, bearing the contact details of real estate agent Shahirah Shaik from Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), was designed to look like a parking summons, with the heading “notice of no offence”.

“Transgression: Parking beautifully,” it said, adding that customers can save on fees with the agency.

In response to queries, a Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) spokesman said on Thursday that the council is aware of the matter and is looking into it.

While it is unclear whether the flier’s design is unethical or a breach of guidelines, CEA’s code of ethics and advertising guidelines state that fliers should not be placed on car windscreens and cause public nuisance or pose a security hazard.

CEA can take enforcement action, such as referring the matter to its disciplinary committee, which may result in a suspension of an agent’s registration.

It may also impose a censure or financial penalties of up to $5,000 on the errant property agent.


However, some netizens, like Facebook user Masrina Rashid, praised the flier’s design.

She said: “Genius marketing... It caught your eyes and you read it.”

Others were less impressed by the marketing stunt.

“Some jokes don’t fly,” quipped Facebook user Russell Estelli.

When contacted, Ms Shahirah said she did not intend to upset anyone and that the design was “purely for fun and humour”.

She said: “It’s a challenging market right now. There’s 33,000 licensed agents – I would have to think of something unique and out of the box.”

She added that she distributed the flier at multi-storey carparks, and SRI had approved the flier’s design. Multi-storey carparks are usually sheltered from the rain.

There have been other ads designed to look like parking tickets.

In 2017, a helmet bag seller placed “summonses” on vehicles parked in the vicinity of Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar.

“Your helmet bag is ugly,” said the flier. It added that “This is not a real saman. We good people”.

Insurance firm Budget Direct Insurance also pulled the same stunt in 2017. The marketing campaign, titled Operation National Summons, was aimed at promoting insurance policies for motorists.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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