On Tuesday a Redditor and alleged former Sunday Riley employee leaked what appeared to be an email from inside the beauty brand, asking employees to write fake reviews for the company’s products.
The email’s subject line reads “Homework time,” and includes instructions on how to change your VPN so reviews can’t get linked to actual IP addresses. Employees are asked to write at least three reviews for specific products Saturn and Space Race as well as what words to use to describe them. “We need to make sure the reviews for clients stay positive and help generate and confidence in the products,” the email reads.
And Dazed caught on Wednesday that Sunday Riley had actually confirmed the email was legit, way in the comments on the Instagram account for @esteelaundry, which airs out “the beauty industry’s dirty laundry.” The comment reads:
As many of you may know, we are making an effort to bring more transparency to our clients. The simple and official answer to this Reddit post is that yes, this email was sent by a former employee to several members of our company. At one point, we did encourage people to post positive reviews at the launch of this product, consistent with their experiences. There are a lot of reasons for doing that, including the fact that competitors will often post negative reviews of products to swing opinion. It doesn’t really matter what the reasoning was. We have hundreds of thousands of reviews across platforms around the globe and it would be physically impossible for us to have posted even a fraction of these reviews. Client word-of-mouth, sharing how our products have changed their skin, has been the cornerstone of our success. In the end, our products and their results stand for themselves.
We just knew the hype was too good to be true.
If you’ve worked at Sunday Riley and have information on the company culture and employees writing fake reviews, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.