One of Singapore’s veteran blogger, Xiaxue, spent a year gathering evidence which allegedly proved that digital marketing agency, Gushcloud, is guilty of ad-masking (masquerading ads as original content), inflating their earnings and the statistics of their online influencers. Note that Xiaxue is a shareholder at Nuffnang, a similar digital marketing agency which is a competitor to Gushcloud. I am not siding with Gushcloud, but this means that if Gushcloud falls, Nuffnang gains, and so does Xiaxue.
Essentially, it is a business battle between Gushcloud and Nuffnang as they are the two main digital marketing agencies specialising in managing and marketing online influencers in Singapore.
As such, these events happened next:
Lots of other bloggers jumped into the fray, blogging and sharing on social media about the incident. Why? Other than those siding with either Xiaxue/Nuffang and their influencers or Gushcloud and their influencers, it’s good for web traffic since it’s the talk of the town in the Singapore online space (but if you asked the auntie selling hokkien mee at the local hawker stall or the uncle who ferried you in his taxi this morning, they will ask you what cloud, what snow).
I am now guilty of it too.
Gushcloud wants to end the saga, peace out and hope everything tides over in the new year. After all, people are extremely forgetful and will be occupied with the next blog war when an online influencer snatches the boyfriend/girlfriend of another online influencer.
However, Xiaxue does not want to make peace and will be following up.
What will happen next?
I don’t really care and I don’t think you need to care either. Both sides will probably continue to rebut each other back and forth until you and I, the public, gets sick of reading about it. The saga will then tide over and be forgotten. Unless of course, one side sues and it will drag on forever like the City Harvest Church saga which is becoming like the entire set of the Encyclopedia Britannica if you present everything in a print format.
In a nutshell, that’s all there is to it – battle between two agencies and their influencers, competing for the same pool of advertising dollars. Don’t read too much into it.
To be very honest, what Xiaxue dug up is something which lots of marketing agencies and marketers are guilty of. The marketing industry’s job is to market products and services and as such, marketers are also the best at marketing themselves or their own companies, even if it’s fluffed up at times. Is it entirely ethical? No. Is it evil? No either.
What unique viewpoints can I add to this saga?
There are other more important news out there, both local and international. Read something else more useful than this blog post. For instance, why not vote for my TIME Person of the Year 2014 (Singapore Edition)?
Why am I blogging about this?
To click-bait you.
Cos many people asked me about it and asked for my opinion on the saga. Truth be told, I have no opinion on this. It’s just business. The only thing is, the business which Nuffang and Gushcloud are in, happens to be pretty bitchy and public. Influencer marketing mah. So the saga gets amplified and you get ‘influenced’ to read about it.