9tro - OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT (3rd November 2015)
The company 9tro Group Pte Ltd (herein referred to as 9tro) has received innumerable complaints and enquiries with regards to a Google advertisement which appears to have been created by SGcarmart.com, an Internet and new media business operated under license by SGCM Pte Ltd (herein referred to as SGCM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (herein referred to as SPH).
The complaints and enquiries which were raised to us, was that when a Singapore registered mobile smartphone user was to search for the term 9tro on the Google platform, the user will see at the top of the search results, a paid Google ad posted by SGCM.
We have attached accompanying screen capture images and videos below to illustrate the search results as described above, whereby the particular paid Google ad displays to the user a www.SGcarmart.com/9tro URL link. However, when the URL link is accessed, the user is directed to the main page of www.SGcarmart.com, with no additional references and/or mentions of 9tro.
Internal investigation conducted has shown that the Google ad is only displayed to Singapore users via mobile devices and computers who have searched for the term 9tro on the Google platform; but does not seem to appear in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines.
9tro wishes to express its strong concern, in view of our good name being used as a pre-URL tag, which becomes a search query, without any prior consent sought from 9tro. In 9tro’s reasonable opinion, the displayed Google ad shows and implies that there may be 9tro related content or information, and/or that 9tro may be affiliated, owned, and/or in cooperation with SGCM or SPH. 9tro believes that this may mislead existing and potential visitors, and can be of certain damage to the credibility and image of 9tro.
To our readers, please be assured that the team at 9tro is working to rectify this issue with the relevant authorities, and we seek your kind understanding on the matter. We also wish to clarify that, notwithstanding the association which may be implied by the Google ad, we are not affiliated, owned or in any form of cooperation with SGCM or SPH.
Please do not hesitate to contact us or bring to our attention, should you come across any similar or additional forms of information which may seem to be misleading representation of 9tro.
We have contacted SGCM Pte Ltd with regards to this matter, but have yet to receive a reply.
Updated: 3rd November 2015 (20:26hrs)
We have received an email reply from SGCM Pte Ltd on 4th November 2015 with regards to this matter, stating that they will be removing the misleading URL link as well as the paid Google advertisement. However, there were no clarifications nor apologies issued.
Updated: 4th November 2015