7up Free recently launched a competition in search of a ‘Minister for the Craic’. With a trip to Australia for the winner and seven friends up for grabs, competition was fierce. It has since been claimed that eventual winner Stephen Carr may have ‘bought’ votes to win the prize.
In order to enter the competition, entrants had to upload a ‘manifesto’ video of their choice, with Stephen’s winning clip attracting 5,300 votes in the end. Since being crowned the winner, a number of allegations have been made online claiming that the number of votes for the new ‘minister’ did not come legitimately and have taken to the 7up’s official Facebook page to protest. Though Stephen didn’t break any rules of the terms and conditions regarding the competition, he has been accused of using a site he owns – earnsubscribers.com – to publicise and inflate his voter count. The site offers 1,000 of subscribers to visitors at a cost of $39.
“I never bought votes,” Stephen protested to the Metro Herald. “I never bought subscribers to purposely spam. I wouldn’t even call it spam when I sent out messages to my subscribers,” he added.
Evidently 7up feel the same way, with a spokesperson informing Metro Herald: “We ensure the results are checked vigorously by our legal and technical department before a winner is announced and we are satisfied that the terms and conditions of our competition have not been broken.”
If I’ve learnt anything in my last two years wrking in PR, it’s that with any competition launched with any brand, there are aways problems. 7up are of course following all PR best practice guidelines. they have acknowledged the issue, investigated it and communicated with their publics in an approppriate maner.What is always interesting to watch is the backlash 7up will face from those involved in making the allegations, will they boycott 7up as they feel the winner had an unfair advantage and didn’t legitemately win votes or will they simply leave the situation as is and move on?
Love Niamh x