Molly-Mae and the Instagram prize giveaway

Molly-Mae Instagram prize giveaway

You remember Molly-Mae Hague, don’t you? She’s sweet, a little bit ditzy and she coupled up with Tommy Fury from pretty much the moment she arrived on day five of Love Island series five. They went on to come second in the competition and are apparently still together, which I think you’ll agree is a result.

Anyway, since Love Island she’s created a couple of sell-out collections for Pretty Little Thing, a line of beauty products for Beauty Works and launched a self-tan range called Filter by Molly-Mae, but you’d have to describe her day job is being an influencer. In fact, she now has 4.8 million Instagram followers so she’s quite a big influencer.

Luxury prize

Now I usually talk about influencers because they’ve been reprimanded by the ASA for having failed to mention that they’ve paid to promote a product on social media by using #Ad (yes, that’s you Louise Thompson). When she recently ran an Instagram giveaway, with a prize consisting of £8000 worth of luxury goods, including Louis Vuitton luggage and an Apple Macbook, Molly-Mae didn’t disclose. But then she didn’t need to disclose, because she paid for those prizes out of her own pocket, declaring in the post, ‘No sponsors all from me!’

OK, there were a few actions to be completed, but none of them were particularly arduous, because all people had to do was like the prize post, tag a friend, follow Molly-May and the account for her tanning products on Instagram, and subscribe to her YouTube channel. For a bonus entry they could share the post to their story as well.

Popular promotion

The number of actions couldn’t have been too off-putting, because her fans responded really well to the giveaway and, apparently, she had around 2 million entries. In fact, according to press reports, she added half a million new followers as a direct result of the promotion (which may well have been the point of it). So far so good, but unfortunately Molly-Mae hadn’t thought it through and when it came to picking a winner it seems she didn’t know how to go about it.

Of course, she should just have called in Prizeology, because winner selection is one of the core services we offer, but what she did instead was to take 25 entrants’ names and run them through a random winner generator, to identify her one lucky winner. Unsurprisingly, social media erupted with complaints that the process wasn’t fair, with some malcontents going as far as to accuse Molly-Mae of fixing the giveaway and perpetrating a scam.

Generation game

I very much doubt that she wasn’t trying to scam her followers, but in reply what she posted was, ‘For people saying that 25 names in a generator isn’t fair… we literally spent all week brainstorming the best way to pick. There was no software or app that would allow me to put in two million (I repeat 2 million) IG comments without logging in with my Insta password which I would never ever do.’

Look, this is something Prizeology could have handled. It’s one of the things we do. It really wouldn’t have been a big deal and I’m slightly concerned that Molly-Mae spent a whole seven days pondering this. However, she really should have worked out how she was going to draw the winner in advance and covered it in her terms and conditions, which is something else we could have helped her with.

Serious business

She then added, ‘The 25 names had all entered more than once… including the winner. Let’s be happy for her! She deserves it!’ I’m afraid I winced when I read that, because unless it was stipulated in the terms and conditions, which as far as I’m aware it wasn’t, it’s blatantly unfair to pre-select entrants who happened to have entered multiple times and draw your ultimate winner only from that pool of people.

She also said in the response post, ‘It’s only a light-hearted giveaway.’ but, of course, although prize promotions should be fun for the entrants and particularly the winners, they are regulated by the ASA and there are serious rules enshrined in the CAP Code about how they must be run, even when they’re not sponsored. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if some disgruntled entrants didn’t complain to the ASA about this one.

If you’re reading this, Molly-Mae, next time you want to run a giveaway or prize draw, why don’t you get in touch? You can give us a call on 020 7856 0402 or drop us an email via – as can anyone else of course.

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist. She is not a fan of Love Island.

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