'Retirement' stunt muddies advertising ethos

It was not too long ago that Xiaxue exposed how celebrity bloggers were being paid to make negative comments on their sponsors' competitors ("Blogger gives ad players a wake-up call"; April 2, 2015).

Over the subsequent few weeks, the authorities started discussions on advertorials and how bloggers should "behave".

Now, we have actress Rebecca Lim doing the same thing on Instagram ("Actress draws flak for 'retirement' stunt"; Feb 14 and "Insurer expresses regret over 'retirement' stunt"; Feb 16).

She was engaged by NTUC Income to try to get people to start "retiring".

But there was no mention this was a publicity stunt and, clearly, Ms Lim failed to mention that "retiring is not retirement".

Semantics aside, how should the public treat comments from celebrities or bloggers?

Do they mean what they say, or are they paid to say things they don't mean?

Would the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore care to share how they police various advertisement content?

Chang Meng Fook