Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Instagram and Twitter in a frenzy – all because of a simple swimsuit promotion run by US based Sunny Co Clothing … PromoVeritas

Last week Instagram and Twitter were in a frenzy, and all because of a simple swimsuit promotion run by US based Sunny Co Clothing. To win a free $64 swimsuit entrants simply had to repost the now infamous image and tag Sunny Co. within 24 hours.

But was the promotion really a success? Instagram users were soon complaining that their feeds were clogged up by the photo whilst Twitter was alight with criticism and ridicule of it.  Meanwhile Sunny Co. had their Instagram account shut down and have been forced to tweet a grovelling apology promising to honour the first 50,000 orders!

So where did Sunny Co. Clothing go wrong? Here’s a few things we noticed:

  • No Terms & Conditions – the whole disaster would have been avoided if simple terms had made the dates and any exclusions clear
  • Requesting a repost and tag – this encourages the kind of spamming which causes Instagram to shut down accounts
  • Unclear closing date – the date was incorrect and stated 2-day period
  • No disclaimer – promoters must state that the promotion is not endorsed by Instagram

In their own words, Instagram is all about allowing “…you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen.” Seeing endless pictures of the same red swimsuit does not fulfil this and is viewed as spamming by Instagram which is probably why they closed down Sunny Co.’s account.

Running promotions on social media platforms such as Instagram does make sense for brands as they are quick and inexpensive to organise and can encourage huge engagement within minutes. But as we can see here, that engagement may not always be good and can result in disaster.

So how would PromoVeritas have run this promotion differently?

  1. The mechanic – we always encourage more creative use of Instagram such as photo competitions to make it more compelling
  2. Summary terms and a link to full terms – this is best practice and a requirement of the CAP Code
  3. A full set of Terms and Conditions – at the very least these would need to include key information such as closing dates, the number of prizes available, any entry restrictions such as age – to protect both promoter and the consumer from abuse. The terms must also include the disclaimer that Instagram require of all promotions on Instagram.
  4. Guarantee your prize – make sure you have enough prizes to supply demand
  5. Announce the winners – this is another requirement of the CAP Code but also shows that your promotion is valid and being run fairly

PromoVeritas have run thousands of social media promotions and are one step ahead when it comes to new rules and new platforms. Contact us to discover more about our expertise and how we can help you plan a successful promotion on or call 020 3325 6000.