Photo: (Left) Mr Vincent Ha, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Gushcloud; (Right) Blogger Xiaxue
A homegrown company, that was involved in a negative marketing campaign by Singapore Telecommunications Limited, is in the limelight again.
AsiaOne reported that Korean digital media agency, Yello Digital Marketing (YDM) Group, has acquired a majority stake in the Singapore-based Gushcloud in that reflects the growing importance of content and influencer marketing in Asia.
Recently, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) issued a stern warning to Singtel for its role in a negative marketing campaign created by Gushcloud against its competitors M1 Limited (M1) and StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd (StarHub).
The warning requires Singtel to put in place the necessary measures to ensure appropriate management oversight and control over its marketing and advertising campaigns in order to prevent future such incidents.
The Gushcloud-Singtel scandal reportedly all began with an anonymous e-mail to Ms Wendy Cheng, the blogger better known as Xiaxue.
The e-mail, which she received on March 11, contained a link to a website which had posted leaked documents from social media agency Gushcloud.
The documents included a brief by the agency, asking its bloggers to smear rival telcos M1 and StarHub, as part of a Singtel digital campaign last June to promote a mobile plan for youth.
After the Singtel-Guscloud exposé, Singtel's group chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong apologised to M1 and StarHub.
The telco also parted ways with an employee who had been involved in the campaign, and cut all ties with Gushcloud.
Gushcloud, however, is undeterred by the negative publicity of late, with its Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Mr Vincent Ha saying the majority acquisition by YDM Group will mean business expansion in the region.
Mr Ha and Ms Alethea Lim, Chief Revenue Officer, will retain a significant minority shareholding and will take on strategic roles within YDM, in particular, spearheading its Southeast Asian expansion plans for content/influencer marketing.
Mr Ha said: "We are truly excited to become part of the YDM group. Their vision to build Southeast Asia's number one digital media and marketing company is completely aligned with ours. Sharing, learning and growing are core tenets of the YDM family and are values that Althea and I believe in.
"YDM is creating a group that can provide the full suite of digital strategy, marketing and creative services across mobile media and social networks. A key pillar in its vision for service offerings includes viral and content marketing."
YDM said it will shift its Southeast Asian headquarters to Singapore after the Gushcloud deal, to house up to 200 employees in a new office in the Central Business District. YDM is part of Yello Mobile group, which comprises more than 70 companies specialising in shopping media, digital apps, content advertising and marketing, online travel and offline to online services.