Days after Grey Singapore had been accused of running a scam in the name of philanthropy, the company has decided to return their Cannes Lion award.
Grey for Good, the philanthropic division of Grey International had developed an app, ‘I SEA,’ intended to aid refugees trying to escape their war-ravaged homeland by sea.
One would think this win would be celebrated and the app made good use of, but sadly that was not the case. Of the many people pointing out inconsistencies in what the app claims to do and others accusing Grey Singapore of capitalizing on this tragedy to gain fame – things seem to have gone sideways in colossal ways.
As many may recollect a particularly heartbreaking image of a toddler whose lifeless body washed ashore, had brought the refugee crisis to worldwide attention.
Social media author Ali Bullock had posted the picture of the deceased toddler, accusing Grey of riding this tragic incident for their own success. Bullock had published an opinion piece laced with the author’s candid views on how he thought Grey had published an app that he claimed was a fake.
Since then many more tech bloggers have popped up on social media supporting that claim. Reports from Gawker pointed out that a number of developers found glaring errors in the app.
There have also been reports of the app displaying the same image to users and the weather information available on the app to be fake.
This has resulted in Apple promptly acting on it and removing the app from their store.
Although Grey International released a statement that they will be returning the award, they are not happy about it. The company kept stressing on the fact that the app was still in the beta phase in a blog post they published before their decision to return the prestigious award.
The internet was abuzz with people being sufficiently vocal whilst expressing their angst and this backlash forced Grey to act.