Your party season beauty kit, from red lipstick to shiny hair
Your party season beauty kit, from red lipstick to shiny hair

Holly O'Neill

Michael Sheen is now a ‘not-for-profit actor’ after selling 2 of his houses for charity
Michael Sheen is now a ‘not-for-profit actor’ after selling 2 of his houses for charity

Sarah Finnan

‘I was a child who received a Christmas shoebox. This is what it meant to me’
‘I was a child who received a Christmas shoebox. This is what it meant to...

Amanda Cassidy

Keep your pearly whites shining bright this party season
Keep your pearly whites shining bright this party season

Sarah Finnan

Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet Margaret O’Rourke, jeweller and owner of MoMuse
Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet Margaret O’Rourke, jeweller and owner of MoMuse

Lauren Heskin

How to approach the Santa reveal for suspicious minds (without losing the Christmas magic)
How to approach the Santa reveal for suspicious minds (without losing the Christmas magic)

Amanda Cassidy

Chris Noth weighs in on Kim Cattrall’s falling out with SJP
Chris Noth weighs in on Kim Cattrall’s falling out with SJP

Sarah Finnan

Some important tips from Met Eireann as the eye of Storm Barra hits
Some important tips from Met Eireann as the eye of Storm Barra hits

Sarah Finnan

The festive fragrances to fill your home with – or gift – this Christmas
The festive fragrances to fill your home with – or gift – this Christmas

Louise Slyth

Grieving at Christmas: ‘Lung cancer may have taken Martin but the memories of our Christmasses past will remain intact’
Grieving at Christmas: ‘Lung cancer may have taken Martin but the memories of our Christmasses...

Venetia Quick

Image / Editorial

How Reese Witherspoon’s Covid Instagram giveaway went wrong


By Jennifer McShane
16th Jul 2020
How Reese Witherspoon’s Covid Instagram giveaway went wrong

With celebrities having millions of followers each on social media, it stands to reason that they will partner and collaborate with brands – as well as pushing their own to give back when they can. But what happens when the fine print gets misread? Well, it’s a PR disaster, as Reese Witherspoon came to find out


In April, Witherspoon announced she wanted to give something back.

Her clothing line, Draper James, announced a special offer for teachers — to show how much their extra efforts during the coronavirus stay-at-home orders were appreciated.

“We want to say thank you,” an April 2 Instagram post from Draper James read. “During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Draper James (@draperjames) on

The problem was in the finer details: According to reports, the brand only had 250 dresses to give. And while the announcement did mention an application and winners, including an “offer valid while supplies last” line, many teachers who sent in their details simply thought they’d receive a gift, as advertised. And when they didn’t, a lawsuit came about.

It gets more complicated because naturally, Witherspoon’s promotion gained a great deal of traction. So much so, that a million teachers applied to receive a dress.

The lawsuit

A lawsuit followed, where, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint alleges Witherspoon and Draper James breached contract and violated California’s consumer law through misstatements and omissions. The suit also says those teachers applying for dresses were effectively tricked into providing sensitive and personal information, including employment identities.

The label were quick to try to clarify Draper James was merely raffling off apparel to a limited number of teachers after the site crashed due to demand. “We felt like we moved too quickly and didn’t anticipate the volume of the response,” Marissa Cooley, the senior vice-president for brand marketing and creative at Draper James, told the Times. “We were really overwhelmed. It was way more volume than the company had ever seen.”

The teachers maintain that anyone reading the Instagram post was not made aware it was a lottery, and that while the post did mention “while supplies last,” there was no specific limitation on quantity stated. Witherspoon is apparently faulted for the lack of disclosure, according to those suing. The teachers also say it’s highly unlikely that national shows like The Today Show and Good Morning America would have covered Witherspoon’s gesture if everyone had known that the nation’s educators were being offered something so little in the form of 250 dresses (said to have cost Draper over $12,000).

The response

Meanwhile, Witherspoon lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss.

“No reasonable respondent would share Plaintiffs’ belief that a boutique clothing line would be awarding a limitless supply of free dresses,” the motion reads. “And the words ‘apply,’ ‘winners,’ and the phrase ‘offer valid while supplies last’ made clear that entrants had an opportunity to receive a free dress — an opportunity that they received.”

All this drama over a free dress? This is what it is to be a celebrity in 2020.

Main photograph via Twitter


Read more: Glow up: Reese Witherspoon shares her favourite green smoothie recipe

Read more: From book clubs to reality: Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script for women

Read more: What is going on with Britney Spears, her conservatorship, the #FreeBritney movement?