Singapore education centre under fire over marketing stunt using 'clowns'

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
A photo of a clown waiting outside a school that has been circulating on social media. (PHOTO: Facebook / Tan Chuan-Jin)
A photo of a clown waiting outside a school that has been circulating on social media. (PHOTO: Facebook / Tan Chuan-Jin)

SINGAPORE — An education centre which purportedly got its staff to dress as clowns outside various primary schools in the East has come under criticism over its marketing campaign after photos of the clowns were widely circulated on social media.

In various posts on social media, schools had apparently issued advisories to parents to remind their children not to follow the clowns as well as any stranger, if approached. 

In a statement on Monday (20 September), the police advised the public to stay away from strangers and to report any suspicious persons or activities by calling '999' for immediate assistance or visiting the nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre to speak to a police officer.

"The Police are verifying the facts with an education centre on their alleged involvement in the incidents. Police investigations are ongoing.”

The Straits Times identified the centre as Speech Academy Asia and quoted its director Kelvin Tan saying, "There was no evil intention behind the costumes and we sincerely apologise for it."

However, Tan denied that this staff had approached children. 

In a Facebook post, the education centre said its promoters neither offer any money to get children to follow them nor take children out of the area.

It added that it will put "an immediate stop to our roadshows".

 

In a Facebook post, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who is an MP at Marine Parade GRC said, "Whoever is doing what I assume to be some viral marketing nonsense, stop it!"

"Please remind your children, DO NOT follow them and to report to the police."

"It’s not amusing and just plain dangerous," he added.

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