Looks like Shopee’s marketing team has a lot to assess.
An army of angry Filipino shoppers apparently mass uninstalled the Shopee app after the brand teased its newest celebrity representative with a tweet that got overwhelmingly ratioed.
Although Shopee has yet to officially announce Toni Gonzaga as its brand ambassador (the reveal is scheduled to happen later today), netizens immediately recognized the singer-host-actress, who sparked controversy after leaving her hosting stint on Pinoy Big Brother, the ABS-CBN show she hosted for 16 years, to campaign for then-former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in the May presidential election. Marcos was also the godfather at her wedding to director Paul Soriano.
Netizens and members of the entertainment industry slammed Gonzaga for claiming her “unbothered queen” status in the face of criticism for hosting the Marcos-Duterte proclamation rally in February. That rally also introduced the pair’s senatorial slate — among them House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, who pushed for the denial of ABS-CBN’s license renewal, Gonzaga’s home network and the biggest broadcaster in the Philippines. ABS-CBN’s closure after their 25-year franchise was rejected at the House of Representatives led to some 11,000 employees losing their jobs.
Several users also noted the fact that Shopee’s apparently ill-timed announcement comes within the same week that the company announced a massive layoff of its workforce.
“So you cut down your workforce but you’re willing to pay a traitor to this country?” one Twitter user wrote.
“How can you have enough budget to hire an endorser but not retain your workers?” another asked.
Shopee’s teaser post racked up lots of angry responses, with over 17,000 quote tweets compared to a mere 2,200 likes, as of the time of writing. Many commenters said they uninstalled the app and encouraged others to do the same.
Several users took screenshots of the comment box asking why they were deleting their account, writing that they did not support the brand’s newest choice for brand ambassador, calling Gonzaga an “enabler.”
Ayan, minus one na. Di naman ako kawalan. But at least natatahimik ako sa choices ko. pic.twitter.com/LE8bJJWR5V— i’m juancho (@DDS_hater) September 28, 2022
Shopee topped Philippine Twitter trends at over 260,000 tweets. Lazada, its closest competitor, also appeared on Twitter’s trends list with over 33,400 tweets after many said they would make the switch after Shopee’s marketing fiasco.
In an apparent move to save face at the last minute, Redditors also posted screenshots of Shopee releasing a survey form that asked respondents to “answer a few questions about celebrities or influencers.”
“As someone who has been in the [advertising] industry, this is laughable because it looks like they’re doing the market research AFTER picking and pre-launching an endorser lmao,” one user wrote.