Beauty brand Sunday Riley admits to planting fake reviews on Sephora


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A post shared by Sunday Riley (@sundayriley) on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:22am PDT

With the rise of online platforms available to consumers, brands now have to turn to completely new marketing strategies—including, it seems, fake reviews. At least, that was what beauty company Sunday Riley admitted to.

This was brought to public light when a supposed former Sunday Riley employee leaked an email to Reddit as proof that the company urged them to register as Sephora users and write positive reviews for two of its new acne products, claiming that “Credibility is the key to the reviews!” The email read: “We need to make sure the reviews for clients stay positive and help generate and confidence in the products” It even said to address specific feature “like how cooling it felt, the green color, the non-drying mask effect, radiance boosting, got rid of your acne after a couple uses,” as well as gave instructions on how to change VPNs so the reviews wouldn’t get linked back to their actual IP addresses.

Hours after the email leaked, Sunday Riley confirmed the authenticity of the email through a comment left by the company account on a post by @EsteeLaundry, an Instagram page which calls out the malpractices in the beauty industry. “Yes, this email was sent by a former employee to several members of our company,” the comment read. “At one point, we did encourage people to post positive reviews at the launch of this product, consistent with their experiences.”


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A post shared by Anonymous #BeautyCollective (@esteelaundry) on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:29pm PDT

In addition, it said that one reason they did that was “the fact that competitors will often post negative reviews of products to swing opinion. … In the end, our products and their results stand for themselves.”

While this isn’t the first fake review we’ve heard, it’s still shocking to see the lengths some brands have to go to. Like they said, oh so ironically—credibility is key.