A former employee of popular skin-care brand Sunday Riley posted an email from the company requesting employees doctor rave reviews for the newly released products. The email, whose subject is "Homework time - Sephora.com Reviews," lists specific phrases that would do best for positive reviews, and how to seem like a more relatable customer.
The company also requested that users fake a number of other reviews for other products across the site that weren't sold by Sunday Riley and provided step-by-step instructions on how to hide your IP address so as to not have the reviews deleted for being fake or be traceable to the company.
While Sunday Riley has yet to make an official statement regarding this, Dazed found that its Instagram account left a comment on a post of the email made by anonymous #BeautyCollective @esteelaundry. The comment reads:
As many of you may know, we are making an effort to bring more transparency to our clients. 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. There are a lot of reasons for doing that, including the fact that competitors will often post negative reviews of products to swing opinion. It doesn’t really matter what the reasoning was. We have hundreds of thousands of reviews across platforms around the globe and it would be physically impossible for us to have posted even a fraction of these reviews. Client word-of-mouth, sharing how our products have changed their skin, has been the cornerstone of our success. In the end, our products and their results stand for themselves.
Many commenters were quick to criticize the statement, pointing out that it did not include any sort of apology and only deflected the blame onto the way the industry works. In response, @esteelaundry asked why the brand would need to fake reviews if they already had such widespread support.
The former employee who posted the email to Reddit referred to the company as "majorly vindictive," and "one of the most awful places to work."
NYLON has reached out to Sunday Riley for a comment, but none was given at the time of posting.