Local telecommunications company, Circles.life, has caused a rift in public opinion after releasing its latest ‘hungry for more data’ posters that have been accused of parodying advertisement campaigns aimed at raising awareness or funds to combat poverty.
The ads, which have received divisive reactions online and have polarized netizens, was first highlighted by Facebook user Hazirah Mohamad who was extremely offended and “flabbergasted by the insensitivity” of the ads. She said on her page:
“Just saw this horrible ad at Dhoby Ghaut MRT ( there were 2 other equally horrible ones, but there were people resting on them and I did not want to intrude on their privacy with my anger by taking photos). Anyways I was so so pissed that I sent a message via FB messenger to their customer service representative. Received a reply that my concerns will be forwarded but I think it’s just standard speak for ok oversensitive member of the public we hear you k thanks bye. Posting my rant in full so that those of you (especially Circles.Life users) can also send them a message and get this terribly dismissive and reductionist ad campaign that makes fun of poverty!!!! taken down.
“I saw this at Dhoby Ghaut MRT and I would just like to state my extreme displeasure at the insensitivity of this ad! I’m flabbergasted that no one flagged this as a terrible idea. Yes, not having enough data is a problem, but to liken it to issues of global poverty which people actually die from? I mean guys seriously way to be insensitive and dismissive of a real global problem, especially when juxtaposed with what can clearly be seen as a first world problem. I understand that you’re just a frontline officer and this was most probably created by an ad agency and okay-ed by your bosses. But seriously can we take it down please? I am just so horrified and shocked by this! Who do I reach out to??””
Just saw this horrible ad at Dhoby Ghaut MRT ( there were 2 other equally horrible ones, but there were people resting…
Some netizens, like Hazirah, were triggered by the alleged insenstivity of the adverts. Local playwright and activist Alfian Sa’at and notable blogger Visakan Veerasamy were among those who expressed displeasure at the ad:
Marketing news website, Mumbrella Asia also flagged the ads as distasteful, asserting that the ad campaign amounts to “what some would refer to as ‘poverty porn’ to sell the largely first-world commodity of data.”
The vast majority of netizens, however, have called those offended out for being easily triggered, criticising the offended as “social justice warriors” and “special snowflakes”:
One netizen hilariously capitalised on the trending post to offer his Circles.Life referral code to others:
Meanwhile, Facebook page Mediacock Singapore went a little further and created these parody ads, dedicating them to “triggered” Hazirah: