Business ads seize on SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung’s ‘umbrage’ comment

Tim Ho Wan and NTUC Kopitiam and Foodfare are among the businesses that have seized on the
Tim Ho Wan and NTUC Kopitiam and Foodfare are among the businesses that have seized on the "take umbrage" comment by SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung. (SCREENSHOTS: Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Trust businesses to take “umbrage”, I mean advantage, of a good promotion opportunity when it arises.

Singapore Press Holdings CEO Ng Yat Chung’s “take umbrage” comment made at a news conference on Thursday (6 May) has propelled it into the hottest catchphrase in Singapore, and businesses are quick to seize on it by unveiling “umbrage”-theme advertisements.

Ng took offence to a reporter's question about SPH's goal of "editorial integrity" at the conference to announce plans to spin off the conglomerate's ailing media business.

In response to a question fielded by a CNA digital reporter, Ng said, "If I may just interject, I honestly, I take umbrage at your first question. There are reporters from here who received substantial funding from various sources, and I don't believe that you will describe yourself as bowing to the needs of advertisers in doing your job."

He added, “The fact that you dare to question SPH titles for, in your words, conceding to advertisers – I take umbrage at that comment."

Famous Hong Kong dim sum restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan is among the businesses that have put out “umbrage” ads on social media. To promote its popular BBQ pork buns, Tim Ho Wan entices customers on its Facebook page with the message, “Feeling umbrage from hunger?”

Even NTUC Kopitiam and Foodfare has jumped on the “umbrage”-advertisement bandwagon. To promote its food and beverage items, the operator of coffeeshops and food courts asks customers, “Why ‘take umbrage’ when you can takeaway?” Even the initials of “Soup”, “Popiah” and “Horfun” in the ad are “SPH”.

NTUC Kopitiam & Foodfare's
NTUC Kopitiam & Foodfare's "umbrage" ad. (SCREENSHOT: Kopitiam & Foodfare/Facebook)

Meanwhile, activity and travel booking site Klook is encouraging people to manage their anger in the workplace through The Fragment Room - Rage Room Experience: “Took umbrage with something someone said at work? Un-rage and go Beast Mode here instead.”

Klook Facebook page (SCREENSHOT: Facebook)
Klook Facebook page (SCREENSHOT: Facebook)

Several online t-shirt sites have also unveiled “umbrage”-theme designs. One such design is clearly a reworking of the famous logo of British sportswear and football equipment brand Umbro.

Tee Hub t-shirt. (SCREENSHOT: Tee Hub/Facebook)
Tee Hub t-shirt. (SCREENSHOT: Tee Hub/Facebook)

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Related story:

SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung 'takes umbrage' at reporter's 'editorial integrity' question