Thursday night was spectacularly made memorable for Filipino BLINKS (BLACKPINK fans) in Manila. Some promo winners were lucky enough to see their idols face to face, while others will be remembering the event as one of the worsts. As quick as our welcome hashtag, #WelcomeBackBlackpink, rose to the trends list as the girl group landed in the Philippines on Thursday morning (June 6, 2019), the hashtag #SHOPEESCAM also skyrocketed to the top of the Trends List both in the Philippines and Worldwide in the afternoon. Instead of the hit song Kill This Love, those affected by the ticket mishap are now calling on the fandom to “Kill This App” instead.
BLACKPINK visited the Filipino BLINKS again this week, just a few months after their Manila concert. However, this time, the group held a meet and greet at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura in partnership with online shopping app Shopee. Through a promo, Shopee picked 568 users that spent the most on their platform from May 11-25, 2019. Forty (40) of the “top spenders” were given the chance to go up on stage and have an autograph signing session with BLACKPINK. This is where the numbers started getting jumbled, together with parts of the program that became an issue on social media.
For those who are wondering what happened, here’s a look at the bigger picture based on what we know so far:
INSIDE THE VENUE
An hour late and a short program
Like any event, the audience were given time to settle down beyond 6PM. The girls – Jennie, Lisa, Jisoo, and Rosé – stepped on the stage around 7:30PM after a couple of music videos were played. After each member got the chance to answer one question, they had to abruptly go backstage and an unexpected adlib was made by the host after a stage manager whispered something to her ear. Somewhere in between the quick Q&A, you’ll see how Jennie seemed a bit off onstage. Which brings us to…
Jennie: Lazy or not feeling well?
Despite rumors about Jennie seeming lazy during their appearance, we can attest that she wasn’t – in fact, she was gasping for air. Jisoo even gave her water while Lisa was talking! Those organizing the event tried to buy time with host adlibs and music videos, but fans who noticed it continue to worry. I’d like to believe that she was given time to recuperate during the short break before the girls proceeded with the autograph signing.
A fan spilled water on Lisa?
Yes, someone did but I honestly feel bad that the organizers and “fake fans” are being blamed for this incident. From our view at the second floor, it seemed like an accident made by a BLINK who also spent so much just to see the girls up-close. Who wouldn’t feel jittery upon seeing them face-to-face anyway? Lisa was very professional about it as it was unintentional! She was all smiles even as staff helped her wipe everything.
No performance from BLACKPINK
Some find it unusual that the group did not perform for their fans here unlike their appearance in Indonesia. However, it was a management decision that everyone had to abide with. There’s a circulating rumor that they weren’t allowed to perform because their last Shopee appearance seemed like a concert already. We’re confirming with our contact from Shopee if this is true. We’ll update this post as soon as we receive feedback.
On personalities getting “special treatment”
Anyone will find it unfair to spend so much for an event when others have things easy. Like any other event, celebrities received special treatment since other people tend to approach them for photos from time to time. They are surrounded by security upon entrance and exit, thus, they also get seats very near the stage. Take Anne Curtis for example (minus the fact that she’s a real fan and a Shopee endorser), around 10 guards had to control the crowd outside Samsung Hall just so she can pass through! However, we can’t deny that there are personalities there who are only present for clout. Some have even been #cancelled on Twitter for saying insensitive things about the girls and the fans.
Lesson of the story for influencers? Entitlement has limits. Learn to do something about the opportunity handed over to you and at least pay it forward.
As for the “unfair special seats” allotted to bloggers, influencers, media, and celebrity fans, this shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place as every event has an allocation for these people who help promote events. If 568 seats have been promised to fans, then it should be 568 seats given to fans. Some of these people are working for their passes to cover events, so it’s also unfair for their part to be hated on for being able to get a seat (and work on a writeup about it after) just because someone else loves BLACKPINK more than they do.
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
#SHOPEESCAM: A Worldwide Trend
BLINKS teamed up to gather the list of alleged top spenders who failed to make it to Shopee’s Meet & Greet list, complete with screenshots of receipts – some over Php 20,000 – and proof that they were being offered a bit of compensation for the inconsistencies in the promo results. Before the program started, there were even people clamoring for explanations as they waited outside the venue. Promo mechanics that involve spending a lot of money can be very risky and with the errors made, fans are now tapping DTI to look into the incident as well.
Here are some of the posts circulating on social media:
These are the people who got scammed by shoppee, this is just so unfair, these blinks spent so much money just to see them. Shoppee just scammed them and gave the tickets to “ArTist and InfLueNCer” I mean half of them weren’t even blinks.#SHOPPEESCAM pic.twitter.com/4BsUMWMXac— 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚖//🏳️🌈 (@imjinspantss) June 6, 2019
Thread from @lallalisaa_m
I’ll try to translate the thread so that even international blinks can understand! Here goes ➡— Heime (@heimerdingerbb) June 6, 2019
#SHOPPEESCAM#SorryBlackpink— Hạ Blink (@HBlink4) June 6, 2019
look at jennie, she’s having a trouble on breathing but no one assist or help her.#SHOPEESCAM #SORRYBLACKPINK pic.twitter.com/Hw7PZyP7vq
Before midnight, Shopee representatives then sent their official statement. Here’s their side of the story:
All of us at Shopee would like to sincerely apologize to users and fans of Shopee and BLACKPINK for the issues involving the Shopee x BLACKPINK meet-and-greet today in Manila. The event fell short of the high standards that Shopee users and BLACKPINK fans expect, and we hear our community’s feedback loud and clear.
Although we took immediate steps as soon as we discovered our errors to ensure the rightful winners of our contest could claim their prizes, we know that the entire process caused confusion, disappointment, and upset for many Shopee users and BLACKPINK fans. We are reaching out to all those affected by this issue, and we are also taking steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur again in the future.
The issue blew up on social media, fueled by a lot of “he said, she said”. We can only hope that those who are directly affected will still be prioritized amidst all the complaints that organizers are receiving even from those who did not enter the contest. At the end of the day, the issue will not be about the number of seats allotted, the size of the venue, and other parts of logistics that have been disclosed early on. It still boils down to the main issue – those affected by irregularities in the “top spender” ranking and how Shopee will be dealing with it.
We know how frustrating this can be so we stand with everyone who were not able to receive what is due to them. No amount of photos, apology, and discount coupons can make up for lost opportunity and we’ll also be on the lookout on how Shopee will be recovering from this gaffe.
Note: We’ll be uploading another post with more photos soon!