SINGAPORE - The National Council on Problem Gambling has defended its anti-gambling advertisement, which has been generating an online buzz since Tuesday night, after Germany's stunning 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semifinal.
The unfortunate humour in the television commercial, which shows a troubled boy whose savings were used by his father to bet on Germany, has not been lost on viewers and politicians, and has even been picked up by international media such as the Wall Street Journal.
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said on his Facebook page: "Bad timing. Looks like the boy's father who bet all his savings on Germany will be laughing all the way to the bank!"
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck also remarked: "Germany beat Brazil 7-1! Brazil need to find out what went wrong and I need to find the script-writer for the gambling control advertisement."
An NCPG spokesman defended the advertisement, saying its focus is not on who eventually wins the World Cup, but the ill-effects of gambling. It is meant to be a "timely reminder to those who bet on soccer not to get carried away in the excitement and hype of the World Cup and let their gambling affect their loved ones," she added.
"Selecting Germany injected a sense of realism in our messaging, since no one will bet on a potentially losing team," she said.
"At the end of the day, win or lose, the dangers of problem gambling, and the potential anxiety and pain that loved ones go through remain unchanged."