Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf apologises for gaffe in SAF Day discount promotional artwork

Social media users pointed out that the soldier in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's original promotional artwork did not appear to be from the Singapore Armed Forces.
Social media users pointed out that the soldier in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's original promotional artwork did not appear to be from the Singapore Armed Forces.PHOTOS: REDDIT.COM, THE COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF-SINGAPORE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Singapore chain of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has apologised for a blunder in its original promotional artwork to mark SAF Day, which featured a soldier in uniform.

The coffee chain is offering a 50 per cent discount for its small ice blended drinks for national servicemen (NSmen) who show their 11B card or wear their uniforms at outlets islandwide from next Monday (July 1) to Sunday.

However, the image drew the ire of social media users, who pointed out that the soldier did not appear to be from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), after it was shared on Facebook on Friday.

The chain pulled the promotion from its Facebook page shortly after, and early on Saturday, issued an apology for the mistake.

It said: "Our SAF Day Celebration artwork that went out earlier was incorrect. We sincerely apologise for the mistake. Thank you very much for your comments and kind understanding."

A few hours later, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shared a new promotional artwork on Facebook that featured an ice blended drink, instead of a soldier.

While some social media users defended the coffee chain, there was still some backlash from others.

Facebook user Alicia Tan said: "Thanks for correcting. But, no. National pride at stake. If you ain't serious at recognising our national heroes and are just jumping on the sales bandwagon, I rather you don't."

 

However, another user, Ding Zhe Peng, said in response: "Seriously? What kind of comment is that? Why are you so negative? The corrective action was quite quick considering it was after-office hours and it was start of weekend."

On Saturday, the Ministry of Defence also announced an initiative to thank all NSmen by offering them discounts and promotions at shopping malls, restaurants, hawker centres and attractions islandwide from next Monday to Aug 31.