S’pore blogger’s video publicity stunt slammed

SingaporeScene

Singapore blogger Peggy Heng in the scene of a publicity video that has riled up netizens. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)

A fake sex video of a local blogger has drawn an outpouring of criticism for being, according to some viewers, "misleading", "attention-seeking" and "unprofessional".

The video, uploaded to YouTube on Monday by user greendude2809, portrays a scene wherein blogger and model Peggy Heng, 22, enters a room and kneels in front of a man, who unbuckles his belt and starts to undo his jeans.

However, she soon turns around abruptly and addresses the camera, saying, "But that is not the way to solve your relationship problems."

The four-minute video transitions to a promotion for a dating event for singles, to be held at nightclub The Butter Factory on 28 September.

Watch the video here:

An earlier video posted last week by the same user on YouTube depicts a catfight scene between Heng and her boyfriend, who is seen with another girl outside the club. On citizen journalism portal STOMP, where the video was also uploaded, it garnered more than 94,000 hits over the weekend to-date.

Both videos, Heng wrote on her blog, were part of the Greenlight Movement, a campaign spearheaded jointly by her and two others, including her boyfriend, reported The New Paper.

The campaign, she said, targets two key social issues in Singapore today -- the rise of singles and of cheating cases in Singapore.

Since the video was posted on Heng's blog, together with an explanation for both -- with the earlier video revealed to be staged -- Heng's post received some 50 comments from netizens, the majority of which called her "attention-seeking" and "immature".

"Your immature act just proved to many how attention-seeking you are. Pathetic, I will say," wrote a user on the model's blog.

User Faith Lim also commented, "Whoever thought of this marketing tactic really needs to brush up on their skills. Because all you get is negative publicity."

Other readers commented that they were unable to see the link between the publicity videos and the cause behind the event -- to encourage singles to "meet new people quickly and boost (their) social circle(s)", as Heng wrote in her blog.

"Expanding your social circle is not only essential for your love life, it definitely comes in handy for work and connection!" she added.

Negative or positive publicity regardless, Heng does not seem to be fazed. On Wednesday morning, the blogger posted web banners and images of the story, which made page 1 headlines on The New Paper. She also mentioned the newspaper story in two tweets from her Twitter account, encouraging her followers to "grab a copy today! :)"

She also congratulated her fellow event organiser, 24-year-old dating coach Xavier See, on the microblogging site, saying, "Great work there :D We've so many people adding us up on Greenlight! For all we know, Headlines only cover worthy-stories, no?"

Earlier, she was quoted as saying, "If I were to reveal the story behind the first video without that portion (with the guy), it won't be that effective. Having that part is necessary to bring across the point, which is the social cause."

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore on Wednesday evening, Heng explained the rationale for the two videos, saying that the first role-plays a cheating case, portraying the possible reactions and consequences of cheating.

Of the second video, she said she wanted to educate the public, to remind them to look at the bigger picture and not be narrow-minded in their thinking.

"When it boils down to social issues, people's attention span is always close to zero," she said. "We certainly needed to come in with a 'big bang'... and the best way (to do that) is through controversies," she added.

Heng said that she and See hoped to be able to share their knowledge and experience in dating and cheating cases with people through the campaign. She also said of the movement, "We will not be deterred by (the negative reaction it has received thus far), because we strongly believe our cause is for the better."