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 "faking" the run to look pretty on Instagram.
This incident occurred just as Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore announced they were starting to seek public input on the draft Digital and Social Media Advertising Guidelines. This gist of the guidelines look to "establish the levels of disclosure that are required of sponsored messages that appear on blogs and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter".
Edelman PR isn't new to creating faux-pas in the social media influencer world.
Back in 2006, Edelman PR was found to have created a fake blog to promote Walmart in the US. Ironically, according to Bloomberg, the fake blog also featured "store clerks to photogenic executives".
If you are going to fake it, might as look good doing it.