Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The NonPrize from A Beauty Brand

August of last year I attended BlogHer, which was a fabulous experience. During that time there were a lot of parties by brands hosted outside of the conference and were unrelated to the conference.

On the right: me playing a game at e.l.f. headquarters.

One of those brands was e.l.f. They invited a bunch of us to their headquarters in New York for party called Glamour & Games. At the event they had sponsors giving away stuff, and I was one of the "winners" of the raffle. I "won" a dollhouse which would supposedly be shipped to me.

I proceeded to give my address to the host where my name was posted on a list. Interestingly, next to my name my twitter handle was listed incorrectly.  I am Latina, yes, but my handle doesn’t say Latino-anything. That might have foreshadowed what followed.

I don't have children of my own, but I remembered how special it was to have a dollhouse as a kid. Since I supposedly won it, I started planning what to do when it arrived. I wanted to donate it as a gift to my church before the holidays for a family in need, but that never panned out. I never got the "prize."
Lesson learned: Don't make plans with something that is not in your hands. 

I tweeted @askelf to find out what happened several times (below are just three of my stalking tweets).

No one EVER responded. I emailed e.l.f. a few times to find out what happened with the prize that I never got. Surprise, surprise, once again there was no response.

To this day, I have not received a response. So is this a post about how I got jipped on a dollhouse? No. Here's the deal: If you have a giveaway, you have to follow trough.

Brands sponsor giveaways on my blog - and I specify to my readers that the company is sponsoring it, hosting it and providing it. I also contract with the brand that they accept the responsibility to provide the prize, so that there is no question they will provide it to the winner.

God forbid my reader tells me they didn't get it? I will do my best to make sure the brand is accountable (I will reply to emails, I will forward contact information, basically do my diligence because my reputation, my own brand, is on the line.

At the very least if someone "won" something and they never get it, you have a duty to respond - even if you waive the responsibility of providing the "prize" and put the onus on the sponsor. 

If you never respond to their inquiries as to why, you as a brand lose credibility to the consumer ...and in this case blogger. 

And the funny thing is, e.l.f. prides themselves on their connection with bloggers. Good to know.

The images and names of those at the Glamour and Games event were not disclosed, nor were emails of any of the winners. This was something that happened to me and I do not want to shed a negative light on anyone that attended this event, since my opinions are not necessarily the same as those of others.

I do not expect that e.l.f. will respond to this post. But I do hope that it is a caveat for brands that work with bloggers - and for the bloggers who host giveaways on their sites. You have to follow through.