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.
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.”
Neither Alchalel or Silverwood have responded to the complaints.
Needless to say, Twitter had a bit of fun with the situation.