OnePlus is no stranger to, well, let’s call them “unique” marketing strategies. The company is known for its invitation system, which only allows people that’ve received an invitation from OnePlus to purchase the OnePlus One. Today OnePlus took things to a whole new level, though, with a “Ladies First” contest.
This morning OnePlus took to its official forums to announce a new “Ladies First” contest that would, in “true gentlemen fashion,” award female OnePlus users a invitation to purchase a OnePlus One by posting a photo of themselves with the OnePlus logo. The 50 images that received the most likes from OnePlus forum users would be given an invitation, and OnePlus also planned to give 100 invitations to other participates in a random fashion. The company went on to urge “the lovely ladies of OnePlus” to not post any nude photos.
As you can probably imagine, the contest didn’t go over well with the rest of the Internet. OnePlus quickly received a lot of flak for objectifying women and its plans to award invitations to participants that received the most votes from other users. The entire contest has since been deleted, but thanks to the magic of Google Cache, you can still check it out right here.
By removing this content, OnePlus seems to have gotten the message that this “Ladies First” contest was a bad idea. Of course, it’s kind of crazy that such a contest got a green light at all, and I’m sure that OnePlus has lost a lot of support from consumers because it did.
UPDATE: OnePlus has issued a statement on its Ladies First contest, calling it a “misguided effort by a few isolated employees” that were trying to get more women involved in the OnePlus community. The company goes on to say that it recognizes that its contest “failed to better include [its] female community” and “perpetuated a stereotype that OnePlus in no way supports or condones.”