Skip to main content

Charity For Fans – Is It Ethical?

Facebook Fan Pages are becoming the social media platform for most clients today. It solves most of the problems that blogging, podcasting, youtubing and what other web2.0 thingy you can think off. This, however, made the race for fans an inevitable KPI.

Sony Ericsson Singapore recently launched their Fan Page and their drive for fans was unique. Their pull was that for every ten fans who join their Fan Page, Sony Ericsson Singapore will donate SGD1 to the Singapore Children’s Society. Just click a button to join the Fan Page and you do your bit for charity.


At the back of my head, there was a lingering thought asking myself if this is an ethical thing to do. Is one joining this Fan Page because they are supporting charity or is it to support Sony Ericsson? Will we also see an influx of brands going for the same approach for fans?

I tweeted about Sony Ericsson Singapore’s approach and also added that we should get 1 million fans for Singapore Children’s Society to get SGD100,000. As I tweeted about this approach, Jimmy Tang, a friend on Facebook, commented, “$100k for a database of 1 million names. But is it ethical to use charity for commercial benefit? I rather just donate $1 to them directly. It's more than what SE would pay anyway. Scam!”

I explained to Jimmy that Sony Ericsson Singapore was not my client, but it did resonate whether it was right to use charity for commercial benefit.

I asked that question to two PR veterans and their replies were rather interesting.

Said John Kerr, Director at Edelman, “It is ok, but with caveats. Only if there is super-over-the-top transparency that the brand is doing this, that the charity agrees (i.e. there is endorsement on materials and support on their web presence) and it is done in a spirit of fun, whereby SE even says things like ‘you can unsubscribe after 1 April, but we’re expecting to offer lots of goodies and exciting content exclusively to our FB fans – and we promise not to spam.’”

Tom Burgess, Group CEO Bond PR, said “Yes, I think it is OK  to use a charity. If it assists the charity in raising awareness for its cause, generating funds and providing its service, then this is useful for the charity.

“But it has to be genuine, there needs to be more than just a monetary link, Sony Ericsson needs to be associated with the Charity and show more involvement. Eg their staff may give time or they may have run other fund raising events or have history of related cooperation.  If the fans don’t want to continue to be members because they don’t like the stance then they can leave. Similarly the charity needs to feel comfortable with the brand that is donating.”

I Googled Sony Ericsson and their involvement with Singapore Children’s Society. The mobile phone vendor, indeed, was quite active with the Singapore Children’s Society over the years, but information is quite scattered.

Maybe they should make use of this Fan Page to create awareness of their CSR activities with the Singapore Children’s Society to share with their fans that their involvement is not a one-time act of goodness.


Popular posts from this blog

Why is Ramly Burger banned in Singapore?

Yahoo Singapore ran an article of the Ramly Burger by highlighting that it is ban in Singapore.

Yet, the writer from Makansutra failed to address the most important issue of why the Ramly meat patty is banned in Singapore.

A search online easily did highlight that the famous Malaysian meat patty is banned by the AVA but didn't go into details.

Wrote Arlina Arshad for The Straits Times in January 2004,

"But the importing of beef and beef products from Malaysia is not permitted, said theAgri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Selling and supplying them without a permit is also an offence, and offenders can befined as much as $50,000 or jailed two years, or both, said the AVA."

In May of the same year, another article highlighted that a man was even charged in court for "smuggling" the Ramly burger in 2004.

"The AVA said that meat products processed in Malaysian food factories which it had notapproved were banned here.Suzali was yesterday jailed for four month…

Did She Run Or Did She "Just Fake It" For Adidas?

Andrea Chong, a Adidas appointed influencer, posted a photo of herself in the middle of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2015 and captioned how she was "all smiles" during the run.

Unfortunately for Andrea or the PR agency, one of her readers checked her bib number #75148  at the Marathon's website only to find it to belonging to somebody else.

That somebody else is Kuvin Kuar, a intern at Edelman PR and the bib number had a status "DNF" or did not finished.

This raised the first red flag as one of the rules stated that "A Participants is strictly not allowed to transfer his or her race entry to another party".

This cascaded into perceptions that Andrea herself did not even start or complete the race and was only "planted" by Adidas or the PR agency, Edelman PR, to look pretty in the marathon.

Marketing Magazine noted that Adidas declined to comment about the incident which lead to further speculation that Andrea was possibly just …

Kudos To Huawei 2 Year Warranty For P9 Series

When it comes to smartphones, I think I am jinxed.

For my history of owning smartphones, every time it comes close to the end of the two year contract with my mobile service provider. This time round, it happened to my Huawei P9.

All of a sudden, the LCD screen sort of decolourised. I thought it was a temporary issue but the decolourisation lasted for a few hours. Then the nightmare began.

The touchscreen couldn't be touched. This made it the smartphone a brick.

I thought the Huawei P9 only had one year of warrant. With my contract ending in mid-year, I thought I would have to wait it out till the contract ended and allowed me to buy a new phone under a contract.

Luckily, a friend reminded me that the phone came with a 2 year warranty.

So I decided to go to the Huawei service center, right smack in the center of the city, to see if my phone is under warranty and if Huawei would honour their 2 year warranty.

Thankfully, Huawei isn't as popular as the Samsungs or Apples, and the …