'Study hard, play even harder': SMU unit withdraws offer of condom discount to students

Screenshot of the email sent by SMUSA
Screenshot of the email sent by SMUSA

A promotion on discounted condoms was emailed to Singapore Management University students on Monday (25 September) but was withdrawn within an hour after it was disseminated.

The email with the header “SMU special: 10% off Durex and Okamoto” was sent by the SMU Students’ Association (SMUSA) on Monday evening at 9.08pm. The discount was offered by Happy Mail, which claims to be Singapore’s leading condom retailer, and applied to brands such as Durex, Okamoto and Sagami.

“Get your condoms with free shipping and discreet packaging at Happy Mail today! Study hard, play even harder,” said the email.

However, by 10.07pm, the offer was retracted by Bizcomm, the business development arm of SMUSA.

According to The Straits Times, an SMU spokesman said that the email had been sent out due to an oversight.

“SMU has rules in place prohibiting the dissemination of mailers by certain companies, including those selling alcohol, tobacco and condoms.

“In this case, a newer member of Bizcom did not read the rules carefully before issuing the mailer. The president of Bizcom immediately tried to recall the mailer but was unsuccessful.”

As of February 2017, SMU had more than 9,500 students, according to the university’s website.

A second-year SMU student, who declined to be named, said, “We were surprised and found it funny. It wasn’t believable but it was unsurprisingly recalled quickly.

“Although I think it’s inappropriate, I believe that it’s an honest mistake as SMU deals with many vendors and sponsors, and (the incident) resulted from a lapse in regulations for filtering emails.”