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StarHub has decided to pause marketing activity around its 20th anniversary and instead donate the $200,000 to gifting poorer students Internet access so they can be home-schooled during a lockdown.

The Singapore-based internet service provider and TV business decided that instead of using the money on marketing spend, it would donate to a good cause. The company announced the initiative on its social media channels today.

The fund is in addition to the StarHub Cares Covid-19 Fund, in which it announced a fund to help cushion the impact of the coronavirus on healthcare staff, patients, lower-income seniors in rental flats and lower-income households.

StarHub’s chief executive, Peter Kaliaropoulos, said: “20 years ago we launched StarHub in Singapore and heralded the arrival of an unprecedented challenger which redefined and elevated customer focus and innovation in the info-communications and media industry. 2020 is a milestone year for StarHub; a time for us to express our gratitude to all our customers and employees who contributed to creating a company of reference and one of the best brands In Singapore. At a time when individuals, businesses and the economy are facing unparalleled hardship, the right thing to do is to further support our community and donate our marketing funds set aside for our anniversary celebrations towards a very worthwhile cause.”

The Singapore government announced tighter distancing measures in the country, to help combat an increase in numbers of people with coronavirus. The country’s efforts, which it has called a ‘circuit breaker’ rather than a lockdown, sees all students moving to online learning for at least a month from this week.

StarHub will work with Singapore’s Ministry of Education to identify lower-income families that don’t have access to fast enough internet.  They will then send them 4G dongles or MiFi routers with unlimited data powered by StarHub. The mobile broadband devices will be distributed from Monday, 6 April onwards, according to the brand. 

Many brands are choosing to advertise during the coronavirus epidemic, but with different messaging, some directly addressing the impact it is having on consumers, frontline workers and businesses.