Chris Reed’s comments on entitled graduates spark controversy as his Company, Black Marketing, receives poor reviews on Glassdoor

Chris Reed’s comments on entitled graduates spark controversy as his Company, Black Marketing, receives poor reviews on Glassdoor

The job market has always been a hot topic of discussion, especially for fresh graduates who are eager to enter the Singaporean workforce.

The 2022 Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey, released on Monday (20 February), shows that more graduates remained jobless six months after leaving school.

Of the 10,700 fresh graduates in the labour force polled in the survey, 93.8 per cent were employed within six months of completing their final examinations — down from 94.4 per cent in 2021.

Commenting on the recent news on his LinkedIn account, Chris J Reed, the self-proclaimed “only NASDAQ-listed CEO with a mohawk,” questioned whether these graduates had put in effort to secure a job or attend interviews.

“Singaporean graduates are entitled and pampered”

Reed claimed that Singaporean graduates are entitled and pampered, and that many employers are hiring overseas to avoid dealing with their entitled behavior.

“It has been well documented that Singaporean grads often come across as pampered and entitled. A recent article in CNA featured a survey of grads expecting a starting salary of $10k!”

Mr. Reed cited examples of graduates not showing up for interviews, ghosting jobs, or expecting senior roles and pay raises with no experience.

“Many founders and employers here have complained about Singaporean grads not turning up for interviews and not letting people know that they weren’t coming, and then even after signing contracts, ghosting the job themselves.”

He suggested that these entitled attitudes and behaviors may contribute to the difficulty some graduates have in finding employment.

“So, I can certainly believe that it takes 6 months of playing games, hanging out with their mates, addicted to TikTok and Insta, and living at home rent-free to get a job if they don’t apply for jobs, are not forced to by their parents to do so, don’t turn up for interviews and then even if they get the job ghost it because it’s not like the brochure where they thought that the degree makes them a CEO instantly!”

Asking for high salary does not necessarily equate to entitlement

However, not everyone agrees with Reed’s opinion.

Ms Dini Kalista, a final year NUS law student, disagreed with his comments and expressed that her graduate peers are hardworking and not addicted to social media, as Reed claimed.

“Your comments are clearly misguided. My graduate peers are extremely hardworking and not just spending 6 months ‘playing games’ and being ‘addicted to TikTok and Insta.'”

“Graduates are not ‘pampered and entitled.’ In fact, almost everyone I know works and has worked very hard to ensure that they can get the best opportunity for themselves,” she added.

She also argued that asking for a high salary does not necessarily equate to entitlement and that graduates have the confidence to negotiate for better offers.

Employers hire overseas to avoid “entitled behavior” from local graduates

In his response to Ms Dini Kalista’s disagreement, Mr. Reed called her opinion entitled and cited data and experiences from other employers to support his claims about Singaporean graduates being pampered and entitled.

“Why should a fresh grad be worth $10k a month just because they have a degree and no experience? That’s entitled behaviour.”

He further argued that employers are choosing to hire overseas to avoid such entitled behavior and to get more experience and expertise for their money.

2.9 rating on Glassdoor

Mr Reed is the founder and CEO of Black Marketing, who branded himself as “the world’s number 1 LinkedIn Marketing and Personal Branding expert,” and his company offers a “fully-managed tailored service” for those who want to grow their LinkedIn account.

Although Mr Reed could probably be good at branding on LinkedIn, a check of reviews on the job search platform Glassdoor might make Singaporean jobseekers reconsider working for Mr Reed’s company. Black Marketing has received a rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars from a total of 24 reviews.

A former employee, who worked at Black Marketing for almost two years, highly recommended the company for its great exposure and opportunities, and praised its CEO, Mr. Reed, for being a cool and supportive boss who trusts his employees to manage their responsibilities independently.

“Chris trusts us a lot to allow us to manage our responsibilities independently, which is not something that you can always have at other companies.”

However, the reviewer cautioned that the job can be stressful and challenging, and may not be suitable for those who cannot handle stress, deadlines, and responsibilities well.


The reviews on Glassdoor for Black Marketing indicate several cons of working at the company, including a toxic work culture, low salary, long work hours, high attrition rate, and erratic behavior and expectations from the CEO.

One review even suggests that if people read a “positive” review from a current or former employee, there is a good chance that the CEO wrote it under a different account.

Another review indicated that the company is “poorly managed” due to a lack of compatibility between the CEO and COO.

The review further states that the company has a high turnover rate and low staff retention, which leaves clients wondering why. The reason behind this is the lack of investment in employee welfare. The company has few overheads, yet it charges premium fees to clients, but it does not offer an equity scheme to employees, which would be a norm in a start-up.

Mr Reed promotes himself as the “only NASDAQ-listed CEO with a mohawk,” and his company claims to have moved from a US$15 million to a US$100 million.

However, a former employee points out a couple of things to consider. Firstly, it should be noted that the company is listed on the Swedish NASDAQ, not the American NASDAQ, and it was a group of companies that came together to list themselves, not just Black Marketing.

“Secondly, assuming that the company is doing as well as the CEO claims, then there is no point to go public. Going public listed only gives away control of a so claimed “highly profitable” company to the shareholders and thereby also passing the risk on to them and allowing the CEO to cash out of his OWN business, seems strange doesn’t it?”

Reed’s company split from previous group TMG, CEO said Reed drew too much “negative attention”

In 2018, Black Marketing separated from The Marketing Group (TMG), a global marketing network, and was listed on Nasdaq First North Stockholm on 8 June 2016.

Mr Adam Graham, the CEO of TMG at the time, described Black Marketing as a “loss-making” enterprise, and its colorful founder, Chris Reed, drew too much “negative attention” to the company during its difficult first two years. TMG considered it inappropriate for Black Marketing to be part of its network, as they are a “specialist LinkedIn marketing agency that primarily worked for SMEs.”

However, when questioned by the media, Mr Reed denied the criticisms of TMG’s CEO and added that he resigned from TMG in October 2018 due to the company’s refusal to “invest any money into the business.”

“I understand why Black Marketing is not a company that [Adam] would buy,” he said.

“He’s trying to create a global media network. We don’t buy media; we do LinkedIn marketing. It doesn’t fit at all. It became clear that [Adam] didn’t like it. He didn’t like the fact that I had a personality and made comments on [Mumbrella Asia’s] site. He doesn’t understand entrepreneurs.”

In 2014, Mr Reed left social media firm Mig33 after less than a year to start his own LinkedIn marketing consultancy, Black Marketing.


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