Prominent Nuffnang bloggers absent from rival Gushcloud's awards show
It was billed as Asia's largest social media awards show, but some prominent influencers were notably absent from Influence Asia 2015 yesterday.
Produced by Gushcloud, a Singapore-based influencer marketing agency, and hosted by Yello Digital Marketing Group, the inaugural awards show saw more than 180 leading social media influencers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines gathering at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
During the four-hour event, awards such as top lifestyle influencer, top beauty influencer, influencer of the year and more were given out.
Highlights of the show were appearances by South Korean superstars Tiffany of Girls' Generation fame and rapper Jay Park.US rapper Redfoo of LMFAO was also at the event.
However, the star-studded event was given a miss by prolific influencers from Gushcloud's biggest competitor - blog advertising agency Nuffnang - such as Xiaxue and Velda Tan, who have over 600,000 and 131,000 followers on Instagram, respectively.
A spokesman for Gushcloud explained that Nuffnang influencers, like those from Gushcloud, were nominated by an independent panel of judges and informed via e-mail.
"It is with regret that we learnt Nuffnang influencers have either declined to attend or have not replied (to) our e-mails before the deadline."
Ms Ang Chiew Ting, a blogger associated with Nuffnang, told The New Paper: "I was nominated for the Top Parenting Influencer category and I accepted the nomination. I felt the event was quite cool as they had big superstars from (South) Korea, and I wanted to attend."
The 28-year-old, who has over 280,000 followers on Instagram, said: "I think it's a nice gesture from Gushcloud to invite bloggers from Nuffnang and I would have loved to attend.
"However, I heard that many bloggers from Nuffnang declined the nominations, so I decided not to go as well."
A spokesman for Nuffnang said there was no policy to boycott the event.
The spokesman said: "Yes we did have influencers who were nominated, and some attended the show. For those who didn't, the influencers themselves made the decision as to whether they wanted to attend.
"Regardless, we are sure they took many factors into consideration, not least the legitimacy and prestige of the award."
Social media expert Michael Netzley put the rivalry in perspective, saying: "Nuffnang influencers may have declined to attend the awards show as it is produced by a rival agency, and there is a risk that they may not win the awards.
"Winning an award in such award shows for influencers can help them when it comes to shaping first impressions as they can put the titles on their name cards, but that's just the extent of it.
"Business-wise, it's good marketing for Gushcloud as there is promotion and publicity generated from the awards show."
A total of 50 awards were given out and the panel of judges consisted of industry experts from various organisations, including the National Youth Council in Singapore, Unilever in Indonesia, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the Philippines, Samsung Malaysia and Leo Burnett Thailand.
Mr Vincent Ha, Gushcloud's chief executive officer and co-founder, said: "We are extremely excited to hold the region's first Influence Asia awards show.
"With the emerging importance of influencer marketing and continuous trends in people following influencers on social media platforms on anything from fashion, beauty to food, it is no longer an option for marketers not to engage influencers.
"As consumers become savvier, they are more likely to trust the product reviews and experiences of their peers. Influence Asia will be an annual event to pave a path for the industry in the long run."
S'pore award winners
Top Lifestyle Influencer
Naomi Neo (above)
Top Health and Fitness Influencer
Top Food Influencer
Top Parenting Influencer
Top Beauty Influencer
Top Fashion Influencer
Top YouTube Personality
Top YouTube Channel
Night Owl Cinematics
Influencer of the Year
Night Owl Cinematics
Influencers' Choice Award (Singapore)
Eunice Annabel, Naomi Neo, Night Owl Cinematics