Pond’s South Africa recently announced the top five candidates in their Face of Pind’s competition. This was in an aim to find a new brand ambassador for the brand.
Complaints however came in that the women had already been selected prior to the competiiton coming to an end. This was the start of social media battles.
Pond’s was accused of not choosing ordinary women for the competition.
One user wrote: “We all missed the point of the campaign due to poor communication from their side. They seemed to make us believe it would be a raw live selection of the photos submitted and hashtagged. But it turned out to be premedicated selection. This is the issue. The girls chosen can be ugly or pretty but how Pond’s went about it is the real issue. Women already feel self conscious so you need to really be sensitive, otherwise you end up with consumers who feel rejected and who then feel ‘ugly'”.
Pond’s responded on social media by apologising for the “inconvenience caused” by the technical glitch that apparently prevented some women from entering the competition.
“We only had 5 spots to fill. We’re sorry you feel sad,” they added.
To another user, they wrote: “We’re sorry you feel hurt and remember, not making it this time around doesn’t mean there won’t be another opportunity to fulfill your big dreams. Never stop dreaming.”
Pond’s PR manager Sphelele Mjadu explained that “there was no pre-selection process” and that the contestants “share a combination of various skin tones.”
“The competition opened on 21 March 2018 and ended at midnight on 3 June 2018. No entries received after the closing date were eligible. Once the competition closed, there was a rigorous selection process and key teams managing the shortlisting – every entry was looked at. It was then up to a panel of brand team members and partners to narrow the entries down to five. The top five were contacted upon conclusion of this process and then travelled to Johannesburg where they partook in a full day photoshoot.”
She also responded to claims that the company’s handling of the competition could leave many women disillusioned about what beauty really was.
“The competition was open to all women nationwide in the hope of finding a local and every day South African face. We believe in and embrace natural beauty, and have supported this. At Pond’s, confidence in women is very important to us and this is very close to our hearts.”
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