South Africa's MTN has decided to close an anniversary SMS competition early after it became increasingly mired in controversy. The quiz-style competition was set up to celebrate the operator's 15th birthday, but concerns about the costs of the text messages and allegations that relatives of MTN staff were winning the prizes has dogged the promotion.
"Whereas this competition generated a lot of excitement and participation, it unfortunately reached a stage where the debate surrounding it was not consistent with MTN's values and detracted from the intended spirit of the game for our customers," the company said.
The competition was launched at the end of April and was due to run until next month. The company has awarded the outstanding prizes to contestants and will be holding a review into how the competition was run.