Fish & Co apologises for 'distasteful' riot ad

Nurul Azliah Aripin
·Nurul Azliah Aripin
Facebook screengrab on Fish and Co.'s Little India riot ad taken from Mothership blog.

Seafood restaurant Fish & Co. Singapore apologised on Tuesday after being slammed online for running an "insensitive" meal advertisement on its Facebook page.

“Stay Away From Riot & Eat Bombay Fish and Chips”, said the tongue-in-cheek ad, referring to the riot that had occurred in Little India just two days before, in which a 33-year-old Indian national died. The photo of the meal was superimposed on a background photo of Little India.

The company’s advertisement, came with a caption of “Let’s all stay clam, not make speculations [sic] and just eat fish”, was posted on Facebook on Monday but came under fire immediately with many netizens labelling it “distasteful” and “insensitive”. Many also said it was very “wrong timing”.

When they received some comments, they immediately issued a statement of apology saying, “We want to apologise to everyone whom we have offended. We did not intend to nor did we deliberately attempt to trivialise the situation. We had taken immediate measures to remove the post once we received negative feedback from our fans – to whom we are very appreciative of. Nevertheless, we take full responsibility for this. Once again, we are truly sorry and we offer our respect and sympathy to the families of all those who had fallen victim to this situation.”

They also took immediate action to remove the post. By Tuesday morning, the ad had been taken down.

In response to another commenter who had asked why the restaurant management had approved such an advertisement, it said, “The image was created to look at the situation positively and not poke fun of the situation. Unfortunately, it did not portray the intended message to public as we expected.”