Where should I begin?
The recent Singtel campaign controversy over the promotion of one of their youth mobile plans is part of an ongoing online war between rival influencer management agencies, Nuffnang and Gushcloud, as well as their respective pool of talents, particularly, Xiaxue, one of the top bloggers in the region who is affiliated with Nuffnang, and a whole bunch of young, upcoming talents contracted under Gushcloud. I got quoted on the saga by the Straits Times yesterday.
The essence of it all is that I feel the bloggers involved may be young and inexperienced and as such, may not know how to deal with unreasonable campaign briefs appropriately. They are small prawns who got caught up in a web to catch bigger fishes.
For the back stories, read these earlier posts I wrote.
I happened to be one of the rare individuals who gets to see things from all perspectives – as a client, as a media professional, as an agency and as a blogger. As such, a few friends have sought my opinion on this long, dramatic online saga that has now spilled into the telco rivalries, garnering threats of legal actions from M1 and Starhub and a quick follow-up apology from the CEO of Singtel.
At the root of it all, it’s just one thing – rivalry:
- Xiaxue vs Gushcloud young upstarts like Eunice Annabel who threatens to dethrone her status as the blogging queen in Singapore
- Nuffnang vs Gushcloud
- Singtel vs Starhub vs M1
For me, it is all very simple. There are two perspectives when looking at rivalry. One, you can choose to crush your competitors like cockroaches by attacking them vehemently or two, you study your competitors and seek to do things better than them.
Nothing is inherent wrong with either perspective because the root of competitions is for rivals to outperform each other. It would be hypocritical to say that rivals can work hand-in-hand (which would have amounted to often illegal industry collusion and extremely harmful to the interests of the consumers).
I am against monopolistic practices and all for free competition though. The more players there are in the same market, the more consumers benefit.
Instead of disparaging competitors, why not seek to improve your own services and product offerings to outperform them? Let your customers judge for themselves.
What do you think? Which view do you favour?
Sometimes, there is just so much venom and negativity in the Singapore online space that I wish I can switch myself off completely.
I am not just referring to this saga, but other rivalries too – PAP vs WP; this blogger vs that blogger and many more. If half of that hatred is fueled to improving oneself, many mountains would have been moved.