Friday, August 2, 2013

Nat Geo apologises over NS publicity stunt - Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: The National Geographic Channel Singapore has apologised over a publicity stunt for its new television programme about National Service.

This publicity stunt was criticised by some members of the public for being insulting to National Servicemen (NSmen).

The channel had hired actors who donned Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) uniforms and marched around Raffles Place on Friday.

They invited passers-by to deliver drill commands to the "platoon".

In a statement issued on Friday night, the channel said that the event was an initiative promoting "Every Singaporean Son II: The Making of an Officer".

This programme was made in collaboration with the Defence Ministry.

National Geographic stressed that it has the highest regard for NSmen.

The channel said it had intended to showcase what officer cadets go through in their training and it did not intend for it to come across as devaluing Singapore's army officers.

National Geographic added that it seeks the forgiveness of all Singaporeans who were offended by the marketing activity.

In a posting on its Cyberpioneer Facebook page, the Defence Ministry clarified that the event was neither run nor sponsored by the ministry and the SAF.

It also said it did not endorse the use of SAF uniforms.

Separately, the SAF said on its Facebook page that it was very disappointed with National Geographic Channel.

It said the stunt was disrespectful of Singapore's soldiers, and undermines the dedication and commitment of all Singapore soldiers who have served dutifully in the defence of the country.

SAF added that the army was not informed of this publicity stunt and the use of its uniforms.
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