Four weeks ago, SwitchUp.TV ran a contest on Twitter to give out Arsenal vs. Malaysia 2012 tickets for their client, Brylcreem (under Unilever). It seemed very generous of them at that time, rewarding up to two pairs per winner and the contest required only a simple retweet from their followers. However, they did not mention anything about the additional requirements for the winners to watch the game. Not even a “T&C apply” was stated on their tweets.
The organiser failed to respond to the winners that enquired about the prize until last week when emails were sent around 1am in the morning on Friday and expected the winners to confirm that they agree to the hidden terms & conditions at 3pm on the same day. That is less than 24 hours without any other form of notification (like informing the winners through phone since such a short time were given for them to confirm).
The hidden T&Cs include face painting, wearing Brylcreem’s jersey throughout the entire game, cheering and holding a banner that shows support for the local national team. It’s totally fine if any of these conditions were made aware of when they were running the contest on Twitter but they failed to do so, making it seem like a cheap advertising tactic to get a number of people at a lower cost. The only real cost for them, if it was not already sponsored, were the Arsenal tickets worth only RM108 each. Were they taking Malaysians as fools or cheapskates?
One of the winners actually requested for her prize (the tickets) without complying with the hidden T&Cs that was just revealed on the email. She has already won the tickets so why does she still have to comply with the T&C that were never mentioned at all during the contest? Her request was denied and they insisted her to go along with the T&C or her prize will be passed on to others. What a bully! If she had the time and money, the organiser could probably be sued. Notice the mild sarcasm on the email of response from the organiser to the winner here:
So basically, the participants retweeted for the organiser as required to win the contest, helped them gain a bit of virality for the brand and were announced as the winners but weeks later, the organiser is unwilling to give the winners what they’ve already won unless they agree to do more.
SwitchUp.TV is an online news video portal owned by Star Publications (M) Berhad, better known as The Star Newspapers or The Star Online. There’s another recent complaint that can be seen on the Facebook Page of the paper’s R.AGE platform regarding another mismanaged Twitter contest (view screenshot below). It is quite evident that they do not know how to run a contest on Twitter. They should’ve outsourced the task to a social media agency.
UPDATES (26 JULY 2012; 1.24pm)
The employee of SwitchUp.TV who replied the upset winner’s email phoned her up and offered the Arsenal vs. Malaysia 2012 tickets in return to get this blog post or at least their advertiser’s brand name, Brylcreem, to be removed. I asked her, did the SwitchUp.TV staff apologised? And she said yes but it didn’t sound sincere and the tickets were no longer wanted. So I ignored their request just like how they ignored the winner’s.
This entry was shared on Brylcreem’s Facebook Page and some of the people started getting a little mad there. So they simply replied the comments by apologising about the “T&C confusion” and that the SwitchUp.TV Twitter contest is not connected to their Gaya Bola Brylcreem contest.
SwitchUp.TV made a public tweet to apologise to me on the matter. To me? Only me? Wait, I’m not even one of the winners. So I replied the tweet asking them if the winners still have to comply with the T&Cs. They failed to reply.
And all the other poor winners became free puppets for their cheap advertising method to gain publicity during the Arsenal vs. Malaysia game.
On the R.AGE Twitter contest case, on the other hand, they bothered to come to this blog and comment instead of responding to the person who made the complaint on their Facebook Page.