SINGAPORE: Singapore telecoms service provider Circles.Life has admitted it was behind the #3DollarBaller cash vending machine stunt on Wednesday (Feb 28), which was cut short for security reasons.
Hundreds turned up in the hopes of getting free money, with successful members of the public paying S$3 into a box at Raffles Place to get S$50 in return.
The event was cut short after an hour and the crowd was told to disperse, with the organiser claiming that she was told to stop by the police. Organisers later clarified that they had decided to stop the event after advice from the police, but said that police had not ordered them to stop.
The stunt was a promotion for the mobile virtual network operator's new S$3 a day unlimited data plan, with the plan being promoted with the #3DollarBaller hashtag previously used to promote the vending machine stunt.
"The whole idea behind that was: You'd be surprised what you can get for S$3," Circle.Life's head of marketing Delbert Ty told Channel NewsAsia when asked why the company had decided to stage the stunt.
Mr Ty said organisers were "happy with how it all turned out", and that the interest the stunt created "definitely exceeded our expectations". However, he also admitted that Wednesday's event had become "too massive to handle" for organisers.
"Hindsight is 20/20 but we did our best to make sure it was handled to the best of expectations of everyone, so no one got hurt."
A second event that day at 313@Somerset did not materialise either, with the telco saying that all the S$50 notes had been redeemed.
In a statement, the police said they were alerted to a "publicity campaign event" held at Raffles Place, after a large crowd had gathered, posing a security concern.
"Police engaged the organisers, Circles.Life, who acknowledged the concerns raised by police on crowd safety," the police said. They added that the organisers had already decided to stop the event "as they realised that they were not able to manage the unexpected large turnout".
"The organisers also informed police that they have decided to cancel other planned events for the day."
Circles.Life on Thursday announced the new daily unlimited mobile data plan and an add-on service to use WhatsApp in 18 countries.