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SINGAPORE Telecommunications (Singtel) has been issued a "stern warning" by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) for the telco's role in a negative marketing campaign against competitors M1 and StarHub through marketing agency Gushcloud.
The warning follows the closure of IDA's investigation into the incident, said the Authority on Monday.
"IDA is disappointed that such marketing tactics have been employed by Singtel. IDA has always encouraged licensees to compete by promoting the availability, price and quality of their own services, and not by disparaging those of their competitors," said IDA in a statement.
IDA added that it has made it clear in its warning to Singtel that it will not tolerate such practices, and requires the telco to put in place the necessary measures to ensure appropriate management oversight and control over its marketing and advertising campaigns.
Notably, Singtel should not adopt publicity practices or campaigns that may potentially "bring disrepute to the telecommunication industry", said IDA.
The said campaign - for which Singtel and Gushcloud both had apologised - happened last June. Gushcloud had reportedly instructed its bloggers to create messages to undermine StarHub and M1 so as to promote a Singtel youth mobile plan; for successful Singtel mobile plan sign-ups, Gushcloud's bloggers would stand to receive S$4,000 in incentives. Since the incident, Singtel has terminated an employee who had been involved in the campaign, and cut all ties with Gushcloud.