'Sugar babies' sponsored party will no longer be part of STB's F1 promotion campaign

Dating platform Sugarbook’s party will no longer be part of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix-related events marketed by the Singapore Tourism Board. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SUGARBOOK.COM

SINGAPORE - A party sponsored by controversial "sugar babies" dating platform Sugarbook will no longer be part of the Singapore Formula One (F1) Grand Prix-related events marketed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) this year.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, STB director of sports Jean Ng said on Friday (Sept 7) that the board and the organiser of the party, called the Sky Grande Prix, have mutually agreed that the event will no longer be part of the Grand Prix Season Singapore campaign this year.

The Grand Prix Season Singapore is a series of F1-themed lifestyle experiences and promotions that the public can enjoy beyond the race track.

Ms Ng added: "STB will thus be focusing on other events in the final stretch of our Grand Prix Season Singapore campaign in the lead-up to the race."

The party's organiser is Vanilla Luxury, a luxury lifestyle marketing agency and digital magazine based in Singapore.

Malaysia-based dating platform Sugarbook was founded in 2017 and matches younger "sugar babies" with older, wealthier men. It claims to have over 200,000 members.

The platform sparked concern earlier this year after it was cited in news reports saying that it wanted to recruit more "sugar babies" in Singapore with promotions targeting undergraduates.

It was reported by The Straits Times and evening daily Lianhe Wanbao on Thursday that Sugarbook is one of the co-sponsors of the Sky Grande Prix, a party that will be held at a bar in the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel from Sept 12 to 16.

Sugarbook will be presenting The Fast Lane event at the party on Sept 14. It said in a press statement on Aug 16 that The Fast Lane event will increase the number of users for the platform, and that it may give partygoers a better insight into the world of "sugar dating".

A Vanilla Luxury spokesman told The Straits Times on Friday that the brand looks to create diverse experiences for audiences at its events, and that it reaches out to brands that are aligned with this. It added that the Sky Grande Prix party is not an event only for Sugarbook, and is not organised by the dating platform.

The spokesman added: "This year, Sugarbook is only one of our many partners. In every event and relationship, compliance with the law is mandatory.

"We are committed to providing a world-class experience in Singapore."

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