Luxury skincare brand, Sunday Riley, has admitted to asking employees to post positive reviews of their products, after a former employee leaked an email on Reddit.
The American brand, which has been a cult favourite with notable celebrities and members of the beauty community alike was exposed asking employees to post ‘at least three reviews’ for its Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask in an email which had the subject heading ‘Homework time – Sephora.com Reviews’.
The email contains detailed instructions on how to address the product concerns: “If you notice someone saying things like I didn’t like ‘x’ about it, write a review that says the opposite. The power of reviews is mighty.”
‘It helps to make yourself seem relatable – like you know how hard acne is and you’ve tried everything, and this one actually works or mention things like yes, it’s a little more expensive, but it works incredibly well compared to the cheaper masks out there.’
Employees were also encouraged to build a profile history, and leave reviews for other non-Sunday Riley products first, stating: ‘The SR product review should be glowing.’
The email from the brand which is stocked in major beauty outlets such as Net-a-Porter and Space NK – was sent out by bosses with thorough guidelines as to how to hide their IP address to avoid their ‘review’s being pulled.’
Sunday Riley responded to an Instagram photo posted by anonymous beauty blogger Estee Laundry. It stated: “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.”
It also claimed this was done as a way to “swing opinion” because “competitors will often post negative reviews of products.”
Words: Katherine Cenaj
Subbing: Victoria Locke