HOTELS & TOURISM | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Travel ad that says 'Singaporeans drink recycled sewage water' generates outrage

"It is insulting!" said a number of Singaporeans over ZUJI's latest advertisement which says “In this dot, citizens drink recycled sewage water”.

The "dot" apparently refers to Singapore as a picture in the ad shows a map highlighting the tiny land of the country.

“Get out of the dot. With ZUJI, sip wine for a change,” the ad further said. 

When asked by Singapore Business Review to comment on the issue, Yvonne Du, Marketing Manager of ZUJI Singapore has this to say:

“Thank you for giving us the chance to comment on this issue, and would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise if our advertisement has offended Singaporeans. ZUJI is all about good fun, and this teaser was meant to be light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek. We value the feedback from the public, and it was never our intention to upset but to encourage more Singaporeans to travel the world. We fully understand and appreciate the complexities of the water situation in Singapore, and we are in no way attempting to trivialise the matter. We are conscious that we have made an error of judgment in our marketing communications in this teaser advertisement, and will endeavour to be more cautious with our advertising content moving forward.”


Some of the reactions which find their way to popular blogging sites like twitter and facebook are as follows:

“So offensive! Zuji's ad…. *Not offensive, it's f****** sick! So disgusting.” -@bluazn

“Very Distasteful!!! Totally no respect for Singapore!!!” - James Ng Kok Yong

“I think will blacklist this travel company. What an ad to degrade Singapore. Atrocious! I think we should get them make a full page colour apology ad to all Singaporeans.” – Alex Lim

“ultimate PR failure” - Stuart Chng

“I'll not book my ticket from this company anymore!” Ray Teo


Blogging site, which features a “mood meter” where readers are allowed to rate how they feel about a blog that talks about the Zuji’s ad, meanwhile, shows that 80% of the readers are “enraged”.

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