I have always known you must be careful what you post online. You never know who is going to see it. I have heard of people losing employment or educational opportunities based on what they have posted on social media. This is the first time I have heard of a contest winner being disqualified because of political views.
Contest Winner Disqualified for Supporting Trump
The Cole’s/Cliff Notes version of the story; Gypsy Freeman was disqualified from winning as she had a Make America Great Again post supporting Trump on her Instagram feed. There was nothing written under the image that would be labelled as hate speech. The post wasn’t any different than your neighbor putting a sign on their lawn. However, that was enough for Kat Von D to disqualify Gypsy as she vehemently opposes everything she feels Trump stands for.
The sponsor has the right to ensure contest winners align with their brand. Sweepstakes are big business and a marketing tool. No one hosts one out of the goodness of their hearts and all marketing activity goals is to lead to sales. Bottom line. That said, contests should be neutral to all aspects of an entrants life. No one should be disqualified because of sex, race, creed, etc. including politics. I do not agree with Kat’s decision, but it is her company. She has every right to chose who she aligns with.
Be aware, if the prize is large and/or heavily publicized, some companies will chose execute a full background check on potential winners. VettingPros is a company that vets those potential winners to ensure they align with the brand before they are announced as the winner. Why would they do that? Could you imagine if HGTV awarded their prize home to a murderer, or Disney awarding a trip to a pedophile? A brand MUST ensure the official winner is aligned with their brand, be a brand asset, not detriment.
This is why you must always read the rules. You may be agreeing to all types of clauses you don’t wish to comply with …
Would you have given Gypsy the grand prize, or not? And why?
Thanks to my contest buddy Jason for forwarding me the link to this article. If you find a sweepstakes topic you feel I should blog about, please forward it to me.