Reese Witherspoon Faces Backlash After Clothing Company Contest Gone Wrong
Fashionista Reese Witherspoon is known for starring in the upcoming Legally Blonde 3, along with TV projects like Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere, but she’s also in the fashion industry, spearheading her brand Draper James to the masses. As teachers everywhere working from home were faced with new challenges, Draper James decided to do something to nice, but it backfired and now Witherspoon’s company has had to backtrack.
Back at the beginning of April, Draper James sent out a nice Instagram post paying tribute to teachers. The post included information on how to redeem the free dress and more:
If you notice, the offer does say while supplies last, but in general there seemed to be some confusion from educators who entered not realizing it was a contest or that only a small number of people would receive a free dress. Some commenters on social media mentioned they signed up but never heard back from Draper James. Others had to deal with the website crashing as over a million teachers tried to apply.
Most in general on that platform seemed to be a combination of “bummed” but also happy for other teachers, as this one Instagram comment sums up:
On Facebook, users were less positive about the whole experience, noting their disappointment in various comments, often echoing something similar to this comment:
Others chimed in that it was all simply to get their email addresses, which is common when coupons and the other ilk are offered online. But the real problem with this particular giveaway, according to one user?
Draper James later tried to explain that way more people were interested than they had anticipated in a statement to the New York Times. Per Senior VP Marissa Cooley:
Eventually, Draper James strove to do a little damage control, revealing 250 dresses were ultimately given out before the supplies were out, as it were.
Still, by then there were a lot of confused teachers out there. Giveaway language can be tricky and ultimately this seems to be a case of good intentions but poor execution. Founded in 2013, Reese Witherspoon's Draper James has only been around for a few years and we’re still in a world where a lot of companies (and people) are figuring out where they fit into social media. The brand said it is working to “navigating the world of remote learning,” so perhaps we'll have to chalk it up to that this time.
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