RE: The Big Gushcloud Exposé 2

March 14, 2015

Another exposé written by Xiaxue about Gushcloud was published this morning. From what I gathered from the responses, there are three camps:

1. #TeamXiaxue
2. People bashing Xiaxue and Nuffnang and trying to dig dirt about them
3. People who honestly don't care about the saga

Of course, not everyone will care about this, especially those who are neither in the blogging nor the advertising industry. I am not expecting everyone to take sides either but not caring doesn't mean that you should be ignorant of the whole drama online.

It's alarming how some Singaporeans can simply reduce this ethical issue into a petty cat fight between Xiaxue VS Kaykay or Xiaxue VS Gushcloud. Or even worse, claim that this expose by Xiaxue is a tactic to attract more views and that this might just be a PR stunt by Gushcloud and Xiaxue.

SAY WHAAAAAAT?

First things first - why would Gushcloud participate in the supposed PR stunt if it brings them bad PR? Empty vessels make the most noise - if you don't know how public relations work, I suggest you don't air your opinions publicly online because your views only make you look ignorant.

Just in case you're wondering who am I then to speak of this issue, I am publisher at Churpchurp, which means I publish ads on my Twitter via Churpchurp (a sister company of Nuffnang). I am also a media student from Ngee Ann Poly's Mass Communication course and I've taken modules like Public Relations and Media Business Management.

All the talks about bad publicity is better than no publicity is bullshit. It works if you're a celebrity and it might work in Xiaxue's favour but can someone explain to me why in the world do you think Gushcloud agree to work together in this case?

Which company would want to work with Gushcloud again if they are known for being so dishonest? If you have no publicity, the company could at least work towards building up a brand for your company. But with a brand like this?

Advertisers be like

Additionally, if you've read Xiaxue's Exposé 2, you would know about the SingTel brief given to their bloggers. If you haven't, the gist of the brief was that prior to the blog advertisements, Gushcloud bloggers should also complain about SingTel's rival companies (i.e. StarHub and M1) on their social media platforms.

Not only is it against the law in Singapore, it is also completely unethical for a company to ask your advertisers to lie about your competitors' services. In layman's term, SingTel paid bloggers to complain about StarHub and M1 then blog about how awesome SingTel's plans are.

Poor StarHub and M1, getting accused even though they were doing their jobs. Digressing a little, I've personally been a user of StarHub for the past 6 years and other than a couple of days of wonky internet connections, I have absolutely no complains. Yay #TeamStarHub

With Xiaxue's post, do you think StarHub and M1 would want to work with Gushcloud in the future? Moreover, with this post, SingTel also loses credibility with its customers. Gushcloud is losing potential clients and even more clients who do not want to be associated with this drama. Therefore, why would Gushcloud agree to this supposed PR stunt?

Side note, I really want to know SingTel's response to this as it could invite a lawsuit from either of its rival companies. As of 14 March 2015, they have not respond and there were no comments made of the Exposé on their Facebook page. (Update: Singtel's CEO has stepped up to apologise)

Competition, if done right, can be interesting as seen from the above ad (not from Singapore).

I can't help but feel sad for Xiaxue honestly; that people who do not understand the industry are cheapening her lengthy blog post to an issue of "just another tactic to attract more eyeballs to her blog."

NO, this is not the issue at hand.

This has never been the issue of defaming her ex-close friend, Yan Kay Kay, or "wiping out the biggest competitor Nuffnang has". Okay, let's say if the latter was true and Xiaxue is trying to bring Gushcloud down, would she have anything to say about Gushcloud if their business wasn't this unethical? How would she wipe out Gushcloud if they give her nothing to base her claims on?

Of course, this saga will bring more readers to her blog. But so will the other dramas, so why did she choose to "target" Gushcloud? Why bother spending a year and a few thousands just to attract more readers to your blog? Taking photos that show cleavages or even naked photos would be so much easier and would attract an equal, if not more, amount of visitors as proven by some bloggers in the industry.

The issue is that Gushcloud hasn't been honest and would continue to be dishonest if they haven't been exposed. The issue is that Gushcloud inflated numbers and cheated companies with these numbers. You can twist your words, you can say that bloggers have delivered what they were tasked with thus, there is no "cheating" involved. But the fact is that companies paid money thinking the numbers were correct but they were actually made up or outdated.

If everyone is this dishonest, would companies still want to work with bloggers? If a company work with a blogger who claimed to have 45k viewers but could only deliver a few thousand visitors, would the company think that ALL social media marketing is useless? Unless sufficient research is done, companies wouldn't know the difference between Nuffnang, Gushcloud and other companies like The Influencer Network (which, by the way, also buys followers for their bloggers).

This is no longer just Gushcloud's business or "Xiaxue and Nuffnang trying to bring other companies down", it's the business of everyone earning money through social media, advertising and public relations. I truly hope that after this saga, companies will be more discerning about who they work with and do enough checks to confirm that they are not being overcharged.

UPDATE:

 I don't know what I expected when I posted this but I certainly didn't see this coming.

With just one retweet, Xiaxue directed thousands of people to my blog and I received about 2000 more views than I usually do on a normal day. Tell me again that Xiaxue is irrelevant, can no longer influence teenagers and needs to create drama online for people to remember her and for teenagers to relate to her.

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10 comments

  1. Really well-written opinion piece!! Happened to chance upon your blog but I really enjoyed this article! I felt myself nodding along as i read every sentence. If only more locals could be half as discerning as you haha.

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    1. Thank you! :-) I think it's also because I've studied case studies in school so I'm definitely more knowledgeable when it comes to this. With Internet usage being on the rise recently, maybe schools should start teaching students how to be smart about the net.

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  2. i swear 80% of xiaxue's haters are middle aged, sexist, anti PAP, bitter men who have no basic logic or reasoning skills at all.

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    1. So true!!! Ugh. No matter what she does, they will only go, "Plastic surgery! Fake nose! Fake blonde!" Annoying.

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  3. A well-written piece! I hope you'll put your good writings and that Mass Comm. Diploma to good use in future. Looking forward to seeing more quality entries from you! Cheers! =)

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    1. Thank you, I hope you'll have a great day ahead! :-) I hope so too! So excited for graduation in a year's time but at the same time, I don't wanna leave school T_T

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  4. Hi Regine! I'm so glad I saw this blog post on XX's twitter. You made a lot of good points here, and I do hope these companies will be more careful now in the way they engage their clients.

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    1. Hey there! :) Thank you for your kind words! :) I think that's the main purpose of my post and I'm glad I managed to bring my point across!

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  5. hey i like your article although i think you made a careless assumption that singtel is in the wrong here. it hasnt been confirmed whether singtel or gushcloud instructed the influencers to complain about the competitors. singtel could possibily be a victim here!!

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    1. You are right, that was a mistake on my part. I've edited my post to include Singtel's apology :) Thank you for the reminder!

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