Netizens outraged and expressed frustration at production companies for asking HBBs for sponsorship

Will the real “free rider” please stand up?

Dzar Ismail, one third of popular podcast OKLetsGo, had shared a woeful tale in a Facebook post that has gone viral, regarding a listener’s challenges in sponsoring production companies’ in return for exposure.

OKLetsGo is known particularly in the Malay community for its airing of controversial and sensational topics that mainstream media would typically shun away from.

Facebook post claims that production companies are exploiting HBBs for free food

In the Facebook post published on 8 September, the submitter “Maghfirah” expressed her anger and disappointment as she listed the challenges she had to face as a home-based business (HBB) owner in trying to get exposure for her business through food sponsorships she did for production companies.

In her message presumably to Dzar, she alleged that drama production companies have been asking for food sponsorships from HBB for their crew.

In return, the production companies will get the celebrities to post food reviews on their Instagram and include the HBB’s logo in the credit rolls.

She disclosed that she sponsored for 20 people once and received hardly any exposure in return.

She claimed that the artistes barely did any review on their Instagram and that she received zero followers from the exposure.

According to her, hers was not an isolated incident. Many other HBBs have also encountered similar situations that made them feel as if they had been exploited for free food.

In case you are unable to see the post:

Screenshot from Dzar Ismail's Facebook post
Screenshot from Dzar Ismail’s Facebook

Netizens responded fast and furious; “free rider” comments ensued

Several netizens have expressed their anger and disappointment in the comments, saying that HBBs are trying to earn a living and should not be taken advantage of.

Some commenters, presumably HBB owners themselves, recount their difficult stories in trying to deal with similar situations.

Some netizens also opine that it is high time HBBs invest in other forms of digital marketing and advertising instead of relying on influencers for “exposure”.

At least 5 comments also used the phrase “free riders” to label the exploiters.

Screenshots from Dzar Ismail’s Facebook
Screenshots from Dzar Ismail’s Facebook
Screenshots from Dzar Ismail’s Facebook
Screenshots from Dzar Ismail’s Facebook

HBBs are businesses too

In our daily conversations with owners of home-based businesses, some of whom we have featured extensively, it is apparent to us that food sales are a lifeline for them.

Without the humble home-based businesses that they do, they might run into financial burden, especially during these trying times where they might have been retrenched from their jobs.

Whilst it remains to be seen whether Dzar Ismail or OKLetsGo will expand on this topic in an upcoming podcast episode, we urge everyone to be more gracious and mindful to HBBs.


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