When you're looking to celebrate a milestone for your company's forums, what's the best way to do so? How about a sexist photo contest where the entrant that nabs the most likes gets a the chance to buy a phone? Sounds like a terrible idea. Well, that's just what OnePlus did to commemorate 200K registered message board users. In order to be eligible, ladies (no boys allowed) had to draw the outfit's logo on a piece of paper or on their body, take a picture of themselves and post it in the contest thread. The top 50 "most well-liked" women would earn a t-shirt, and if there were at least 500 entries, OnePlus promised an invite to purchase it's One smartphones to "our favorite photo." So yes, the winner still had to pay for the device they "won." As you might've guessed, folks around the internet expressed their rage almost immediately and links to the contest thread are dead several hours later. We've reached out to see if the promotion has officially been pulled and what OnePlus has to say about it, but it looks like the masses have prevailed.
Update: OnePlus has provided a statement in response to our query, and is apologetic about a "misguided" effort to reach out to women. The company says it's "thrilled to have a small but growing number of women active in our online community," and deeply regrets any offense caused. You can read the statement in full after the break.
OnePlus is thrilled to have a small but growing number of women active in our online community. We want to encourage even more women to get involved with and excited about the amazing things happening in tech right now. The 'Ladies First' contest was a very misguided effort by a few isolated employees to do just that, however there is no question the post not only failed to better include our female community but actually perpetuated a stereotype that OnePlus in no way supports or condones. We deeply regret any offense caused by this contest.