Did Gillette give a £5000 prize to a stolen photo?
Last year I shared details of the Gillette Venus #WhateverWeather competition on the Super Lucky Facebook page. To enter this competition you had to “share a picture capturing your moment of living life to the full – whatever the weather”. The prize was a £4000 holiday of the winner’s choice, plus £1000 spending money.
Considering the competition closed on 31st December 2014, Gillette took a long time to announce the winner on their Facebook page. Finally last Wednesday the winning photograph was posted, with no mention of the winner’s name.
As you can see, it’s a great photo and deserving winner. Except – it’s not Jette’s photo, nor is Jette the girl in the photo. The photo was taken by Carmi (or MCT Garcia) in 2010, is a photo of her sister Ezra, and can be found on her blog along with a copyright watermark:
Here are a few quotes from the official competition terms and conditions:
The Promotion requires a photo of you being uploaded, it must be a photo of you and nobody else, famous or otherwise.
(b) You should not upload:
I. Any content belonging to anybody else, such as material which contains trademarks and/or copyright protected material, any material broadcast on TV or Radio, or any other material that does not belong to you;
Entrants also had to confirm before submitting a photograph:
III. I also confirm that I own the rights to the content I upload and that I am not using any content which infringes anybody else’s rights or that uses or depicts anybody else’s name, picture, video or brand name.
If Jette didn’t take the photograph or feature in the photograph, she is not eligible for the £5000 prize. That’s what several fans have commented on the Gillette Venus UK page, but a week has passed with no response from Gillette. Why?
The terms and conditions seem to have been completely ignored by Gillette in awarding the prize to this ineligible winner. As with all photo competitions, promoters and agencies should know the first step is always to do a reverse Google Image Search on the entries to check if they are copyrighted. In 2013 Samsung awarded a £500 camera to a stolen image – and the original photographer wasn’t impressed when they found out!
A lot of entrants went out of their way to take lovely original and creative photos for this competition – and they deserve an answer. So come on Gillette, what’s the story?
(Thanks to all who posted their investigations on the Gillette Facebook post)
UPDATE – 12th MARCH
Gillette Venus commented on the Facebook post saying they are aware of the situation and are investigating, and Carmi commented too: “I am the original owner of the photo shown above… it was used without my knowledge or permission. Please disqualify this photo from the competition and give the prize to someone who deserves it. Hopefully this matter can be resolved soon. “
UPDATE – 1st APRIL
Gillette annnounced a new winner, Claire! Hooray!