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Woman Claims Demanded S$2.3K To Feature Her Business, Publication Apologises For Confusion

Business Owner Claims Randomly Approached Her & Asked For S$2.3K For Listicle Feature

Having been around for about 10 years, local food publication has established quite a reputation for its content topic. So when someone took to Facebook to call them out for their allegedly unorthodox approach to feature an eatery, netizens were understandably in shock.

In the now-viral post, the OP claimed that a staff had sent her an email out of the blue, to enquire about featuring her business. But if she was agreeable, she would have to pay S$2,300.

The publication has since addressed the post, explaining how their features work. allegedly asks woman to pay to feature her business

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (4 Oct), the OP wrote that she was “minding her (my) own business” when she received an email from a employee.

Source: Facebook

According to her, she had never sought to be part of any list they were curating, so the email came as a surprise. Here’s a screenshot of it:

Source: Facebook

According to the email, the publication was working on a listicle “featuring the best places to eat in Everton Park”. They contacted the OP to check her interest in securing a spot “as an advertising effort for her (your) place”.

The email listed the various deliverables which included an option to pick specific ‘spots’ on the list at different costs.

Surprised by the proposition, the OP questioned the lack of “actual research”, whereby writers would try the food themselves before recommending anything.

Business owner feels website isn’t being truthful

Speaking to MS News, the OP shared that she received the email on 3 Oct, the day before she posted about it.

Upon reading its contents, she said that she was utterly surprised. “I was surprised was going to write a new definitive article to say what is good to eat in my neighbourhood without actually trying the food. Isn’t that conning people? ”

She pointed out that the examples they gave her were all from the first-person perspective, as though the writer actually dined at those places. But now realising that the eateries could’ve paid the website to feature them, she questioned the site’s honesty.

Intrigued by the email, the OP replied and asked if Seth Lui himself was aware of the package.

In response, the representative confirmed that the website’s founder is aware of the “standard listicle rate”.

Here’s the email conversation:

Image courtesy of OP says it heard ‘good things’ about F&B business in question

On Friday (6 Oct), posted a statement addressing the incident.

Source: on Facebook

The food publication clarified that they use social media and Google ratings to discover “new and trending places”.

Their team of writers then proceeds to “eat at as many of those places as possible and write about them honestly”.

The statement also described the OP’s suggestion that eateries were picked randomly as “patently false”.

In the OP’s case, claimed that they had come across positive reviews of her business from within their “circle”.

They said that the business’s 4.7-star rating from nearly 140 reviews was a “solid rating”.

Believing that it “warrants a potential recommendation” to readers, reached out with a potential sales collaboration.

For such collaborations, their staff would reportedly visit the outlet to try the food and understand their story.

But in cases where they find the food quality to be “far below average”, they would purportedly “drop” the client to avoid misleading readers.

In making these decisions, the publication explained that they have to maintain a balance between content execution and sales opportunities. This is especially because they employ about 20 staff members.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and on Facebook

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