Does your Instagram feed have you seeing red?
Red bathing suits, that is.
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the upcoming Baywatch movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zack Efron. It’s a promotional giveaway that has taken a life of its own – and it’s backfiring big time.
It all started when a company called Sunny Co Clothing posted a picture Tuesday of a woman wearing a red one-piece bathing suit sitting with her feet in a pool. Instagram users were told that if they re-posted the picture within 24 hours and tagged Sunny Co Clothing, they would receive a promo code to which they could apply to get a free Pamela Sunny Suit ($64.99).
All they had to do was cover the costs for shipping and handling, but a portion of all the proceeds would go to Alzheimer’s research.
— 13News Now (@13NewsNow) May 5, 2017
And that’s when thing got out of control.
The people at Sunny Co had not anticipated a response this big and had to address the issue by releasing a statement. The statement was posted on the company’s Instagram page, NBC News reports.
“Due to the viral volume of participants, we reserve the right to cap the promotion if deemed necessary,” their post read, according to Teen Vogue. “Due to the overwhelming volume of orders we will work as fast as we can to process and ship (approx.. 3-6 weeks) but there may be delays.”
It’s unclear how many had re-posted the photo, but Time reports the number to be more than 334,000.
But it looks like the promotion may have worked as the company lists all of its bathing suits being sold out on its website.
However, some took to Sunny Co’s Instagram and Facebook pages to accuse the company of scamming them, NBC News says.
As of Friday, both the company’s Instagram and Facebook pages appear to have been taken down.
According to the Sunny Co Company’s website, the clothing business is based in California and is run by Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood, two seniors studying business at the University of Arizona.
So when people saw they couldn’t complain on the company’s official social media pages, they turned to Alchalel’s personal Facebook account.
Some even alleged the promo code didn’t work and they were charged full price.
“I applied the promo code and paid through pay pal,” Nichole Schroeder wrote on Alchalel’s Facebook page. “It said it would charge 12 but it charged my account 77, which overcharged my account. I need that money back asap.”
“When I tried place my order, rather than inputting a promo code it confirmed the order without my knowledge,” Liesl Block wrote. “I was charged the full price and would like you to please respond to my various emails and Instagram [direct messages].”
Neither Alchalel or Silverwood have responded to the complaints.
Needless to say, Twitter had a bit of fun with the situation.
When all the girls show up to the pool wearing their free Sunny Co Company swim suit pic.twitter.com/XlpYnPVGVM
— Brian Thomas (@bt8195) May 3, 2017
Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by Sunny Co. Company on your IG feed today. pic.twitter.com/nrjLM48F8c
— Jackie Richardson (@JackkieMarrie) May 3, 2017
This gon be Sunny co clothing company when they see how many of ya put up that pic for a free bathing suit pic.twitter.com/5a2eF3YutA
— Tcola (@tommy_cola32) May 3, 2017
Wait…. sunny co
Always "Sunny" in Philadelphia
Co = company aka the gang pic.twitter.com/NaHxxj5OSX
— Gilligan (@ohiosveryown) May 4, 2017
Everyone at the pool this Summer, In the same Sunny Co Clothing swimsuit. pic.twitter.com/NqWHzGlaId
— Romeo.Maestas (@RomeoMaestas0) May 3, 2017
Sunny Co Clothing after they seen 5.3 million girls repost their free swimsuit picture pic.twitter.com/GioUHfZ1d0
— Kevin White (@K_P_W3) May 3, 2017
Everyone girl this summer in their Sunny Co Clothing suit pic.twitter.com/5lKimCGYXX
— Luke Boles (@LukeBoles56) May 3, 2017