Contest Winner Disqualified for Supporting Trump

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.

Gypsy FreemanShe won a national contest. She was then disqualified for supporting Trump, she says.

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.
2017-08-05T20:26:50+00:00July 21st, 2017|Marketing|5 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.


  1. Diane VanderLaan August 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    As a big makeup user, I can honestly say I will never buy Kat Von D products again after reading this. It was petty on her part to DQ this person. She may very well lose 50% of the country buying her products. Pretty short sighted don’t you think?

  2. Gayle B August 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    This is pretty shocking, especially when most rules state that winner will be drawn randomly, but if screening of winners is taking place, is that not ? illegal based on rules that state ‘random draw”? Yes, I would have given her the grand prize, especially if the rules stated that winner would be drawn randomly. Did the rules say randomly drawn or selected as per alignment with brand?

  3. darla August 8, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

    She wasn’t dqed per se. She wasn’t comfortable coming to the launch/and was discouraged from going but it seems she wasn’t formally disqualified. I wonder if she’ll get the $500 Sephora, the other part of the prize.

    I personally wouldn’t have disqualified her unless I saw a display of hate speech, bigotry etc something that is in most sweepstakes’ rules. However I’m not Kat, and she clearly has a strong and firm view of what her brand is. I see her perspective.

  4. Donna W. August 10, 2017 at 2:24 am - Reply

    I think it is wrong she was not given the prize because of her political alignment. After this, I refuse to have any association with Kat Von D, her products, her social media or any program on television that promotes her.

  5. lisa September 7, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Even small blog giveaways do this..

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