As I’ve mentioned before in the Durex Condom Emergency campaign, contests that allow user generated content are very risky to run. This is also evident with a contest by America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift. An online contest was held to send Taylor Swift to perform at the school in the US that received the most votes on 4Chan and Reddit. This strategy failed when the school that received the most votes was the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. The school was then removed from the contest due to the cruel prank, but was awarded $50,000 as a consolation prize, and all students were given tickets to her next show.
Poor Taylor’s bad luck didn’t end there. She held another contest earlier this year through a local Boston radio station, where the winner would get a chance meet the singer in person. This contest was hijacked when a 39-year-old man used the help of the 4Chan community to get him the most votes.
Here is one of the creepy posts:
The contest was then terminated as the radio station claimed the contest had been compromised.
— Charles Z. (@cgz79) July 21, 2013
Neither situation ended well for Taylor. I do think that Taylor handled the first contest well with the hefty donation to the school and free concert tickets. She did not bow down to the internet prank and resolved the situation in a respectful way. However, I’m not sure I agree with the way they handled the meet and greet. I don’t blame Taylor for not wanting to meet this guy in person (I wouldn’t want to either) but was it really necessary to terminate the whole contest? Why not just award the prize to the runner up who abides to the contest rules?
Do you think Taylor handled these situations well?