Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James slammed after 1m teachers apply for free dresses… but only 250 get one
It was a giveaway with the best of intentions – free dresses to uplift the spirits of teachers attempting to teach from home, amid the upheaval of the coronavirus epidemic.
But Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James company is under fire for misleading educators, after just 250 of the more than one million who submitted their details were sent a free dress.
In an Instagram post announcing the giveaway, the clothing company explained that they wanted to ‘say thank you’ to the teachers ‘working harder than ever to educate out children.’
Up for grabs: Reese Witherspoon is seen in a dress from her Draper James account; the firm has been slammed after nearly 1m teachers applied for free dresses but only 250 got one
Post: The giveaway was advertised on Instagram, with many saying they wrongly thought everyone who applied would get a dress
The post continued: ‘To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress.’
While the post referred to ‘winners’, it was not make completely clear that the dresses were in limited supply.
Teachers shared the post far and wide, encouraging their peers to grab a dress.
Not happy: Teachers complained they had been misled, one even commented ‘great way to capitalize on a pandemic’
No luck: Teachers flooded Instagram with their issues, after not getting a dress
Those who applied were directed to an online form, where as part of the questions they had to submit their school ID.
Here it was stated that the giveaway was ‘while stocks last’, but not how many dresses were available.
By the time applications closed, nearly a million teachers had filled in the form – with just 250 successful.
According to an article in the New York Times, the number of applicants was around seven times the total number of dresses Draper James sold in 2019.
Follow up: After the competition ended, Draper James explained there were only 250 dresses
Unsuccessful applicants were sent discount codes for the website, which sells multiple dresses around the $135 mark.
Flooding Draper James’ Instagram with complaints, teachers said it hadn’t been clear that the post was advertising a competition – and they had expected to receive a dress.
One even wrote ‘Great way to capitalize on a pandemic.’
Another complained: ‘Out of 535 teachers on a social media page on FB, not even one got a free Draper James dress! What in the what?’
After the competition ended, Draper James wrote ion Instagram: ‘We were so excited to reward 250 teachers across the United States with a free dress. We love educators all over the world for what they do everyday, but especially right now.’