OnePlus “Ladies First” invite contest adds sexism as another embarrassing black eye to eCommerce


oneplus one ladies first contest

If you weren’t already annoyed by the fact that you’d need an invite to buy a OnePlus One, you were probably ticked off at the environmentally irresponsible Phone Smash idea. If that didn’t quite get under your skin, OnePlus has come up with another “genius” contest that’s bound to stir up some foul press.

Meet the “Ladies First” contest, an all-women affair where you don’t even have a chance to win an invite if you don’t have the correct chromosomes. Here are the simple rules of the contest as laid out by OnePlus One:

  1. Draw the OnePlus logo on a piece of paper or on your hand/face/wherever (so we know it’s really you)
  2. Take a photo of yourself with the OnePlus logo clearly visible
  3. Post the photo in this thread

And it goes without saying: no nudes. 150 ladies are poised to win — that is, if OnePlus can even get that many legit entries.

OnePlus One DSC06073

As cheeky and respectful as OnePlus meant to make this contest (their angle is that chivalry isn’t dead and that men should still let the ladies go first), I’m sure more than one male eager to grab this phone is feeling quite disrespected at the fact that OnePlus continues to use shenanigans like this to sell a smartphone.

To top all that off, no one is even taking this contest seriously. Many folks are resorting to taking internet photos of beautiful women which barely pass the “NSFW” test and photoshopping the OnePlus logo on them. A few legit entries did make it through, though we’re sure a couple of them are not the type of entries OnePlus was hoping to see. Here’s one that’s especially punctual and eye-opening:


Though user R2D8 was quick to mention she still wants her invite.

So not only do you draw unnecessary negative attention to yourself by making a gender-specific contest, you can’t even have the contest go as intended. There are several issues at play here:

  1. The first problem is making a contest that’s gender specific. That should have been the first red flag and the marketing manager should have shot this idea down immediately.
  2. To add to that, using most “liked” photos as a way to pick winners is just another way of saying “this is a hot or not contest, and the hottest chicks get the invites.”

It all comes together in a pot of boiling garbage that can only lead to a very disgusting dish. Needless to say, OnePlus should probably focus more energy on figuring out a way to end this invite nonsense than to come up with more of these ridiculous ideas that have done absolutely nothing to help their brand. Get it together guys.

[via OnePlus]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. A technology company actually acknowledging that there are women who’re into tech (that isn’t pink) and giving them first dibs?

    Nope. I actually don’t have a problem with this.

    1. There are dozens of ways to do that. Asking a group of men to rate the women is one of the worst.

      1. yeah i was actually cool with it up until the rating part.

        1. where is the rating part? they just said the ladies that get most likes.
          The photo part is just to know that they are girls instead of guys posing as girls. They are gonna give 100 random invites to whoever enters the competition. this is my interpretation of the contest and you guys can have a different one.

          1. Top 50 get an invite and a free tshirt. Other 100 are random drawings from valid entries. I still don’t see the big deal with it.

          2. its a form of rating. When one woman gets 70 likes and another gets 25 likes, she is rated higher and these likes are based on pictures of these women..

          3. Understand there was no Ill intention. There is a different culture boundaries.

          4. that’s a form of rating, like the mod said. Why would you like one girl over another?

        2. Yeah, if they just gave invites to 50 random ladies that posted their pictures, that would have been great.

          I’m not sure, but I think their heart was in the right place. I don’t think they meant it to be demeaning… but their execution failed. And sadly this seems to be a company with neat ideas and poor execution in just about everything they do.

      2. Wait don’t men rate women in their day to day activities, every time a women walks by a man he rates her. Any man that denies this is bullshitting lol…. But I do agree this was a completely ridiculous idea on their part

    2. Acknowledging them with a beauty contest?

      Maybe when you finish high school you’ll understand why this is bad for women.

      1. I didn’t see the part about men rating the picture.

        I thought the invitations would be given to the first 50 women who posted pictures sporting the logo. That would have been fine with me. Making it a contest for men’s approvals is degrading, however, and I can now see why people are getting angry.

        That said, I’m dang near 40, guy, so you can take your ridiculous assumptions somewhere else.

    3. Who’re….That word doesn’t exist and sounds like Whore. Congrats on the tongue in cheek…calling these entrants whores….you’re not very sensitive.

      1. Holy shit mate you’re not the smartest are you…
        That is a word, it means who are… In the English language… Just like it’s means it is…

      2. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/who're

        “Who’re” is a contraction common in informal American English. It’s allowed by the same informality that lets you replace commas and periods with ellipses.

        Now relax and stop trying so hard to be witty.

    4. Precisely

  2. The skeez factor is high with these guys.

  3. OnePlus -> does anyone really give a shit anymore?

  4. This company’s finding reasons for people to dislike them

  5. This is pathetic and pisses me off. We should be embracing women in tech. Not asking them to turn this into hotornot.com.

  6. I’m sorry but eff this pos phone. Making it exclusive to some with invites does not make me want it more… Or at all.

    1. Phone isn’t exactly a POS, maybe just the company and invite system.

  7. Men,
    I have invitation for anyone that wants it.

    1. I want one! kik: d4whatver82

      1. Don’t have a kik. Need your email address

        1. [email protected] please and thank you!

    2. I could use one as my friend needs a replacement for his broken phone.

    3. may i get one too pls? [email protected]

    4. I’d like one. Currently in need of a working phone, dropped my new G3.
      [email protected]

  8. this company is a complete disaster. They are clearly a bunch of tech geeks with zero business acumen. Maybe hire a reputable Marketing company?? Idiots.

  9. Can’t help but to think they should go for the Sexist Racist approach and only invite ladies that are NOT white!

  10. So they’re assuming there won’t be a male version? Wow… Way to assume EVERYONE is being sexist.

    1. the problem i have is the voting, not necessarily the female invites.

      1. Yea… I went back and reread and yea… that is a problem. But they took it off, so… I’m a little late with the responding.

  11. It seems to me that they are trying everything possible to fail, what a pathetic bunch of losers.

  12. I don’t see the big deal with this contest and I believe that people are making a big deal out of nothing.

    1. Yes they are. It’s insane.

  13. So many people fake-mad over this nonsense.

  14. At the end of the day people that want the phone will still buy it (eventually) and OnePlus has more free marketing and are back on the headlines reaching more prospective customers.

  15. Update: 3:20PM EST – They just deleted the contest thread.
    What douchebags

  16. Cute girl btw <3

  17. We should start a vote for the”worst” campaign, Hairiest gentlemen soon your finest wigs short skirts and other drag then when you Win watch their p.r. Trip over themselves trying to prove you aren’t female

  18. My thoughts

  19. This phone produces more salt than mortin

  20. hmmm

  21. The article should be updated since the thread has been removed and the company has apologized in the forum. How many companies can and would act as fast when they realize they are doing something wrong.

    1. It doesn’t matter how fast they reacted, the point is they shouldn’t have done it in the first place. Clearly their marketing department has no clue….

      1. they are a Chinese company, dealing with people like we are Chinese people, but we aren’t…

      2. They’re a small startup company. They want to appeal to both men and women and in China they view things such as this differently. I doubt they realized that their chivalrous idea was in fact sexist. And they quickly got rid of it. This doesn’t affect the product whatsoever. If you want the phone, get it.

    2. I buy from the companies that don’t do this in the first place.

      1. I will never get why people care if companies do stupid things. It has nothing to do with the outcome of their product. Sure, I’m disappointed in Oneplus’ idea to be sexist and destroy phones, but this was not their intention. They wanted to make a product with equal availability to both men and women and they wanted to show how people wanted this phone badly enough to destroy an old one for it. Their intentions were not bad and even though they did make some stupid decisions, in the end the product is still the same product. Just like I couldn’t care less whether it was made in America or China.

  22. Good lord… Just sell the fucking thing already!

  23. How’s this for sexist? I would f*** the **** out of that R2D8 girl

    1. you can have that hipster ::puke::

  24. pathetic Chinese company, full of liars and deceitful people

    1. 1+ is sexist so I’m going to be racist. Well done you’re just as bad as them obviously.

  25. I’m going to bet that there wasn’t a single woman in the room of people who made the decision to green light this contest. It’s a shame because this phone really started to look like a nice deal, but they really seem to be completely clueless as to how to market it. If they were trying to get women to buy, this isn’t going to help.

  26. I got an invite. It’s not hard. Just enter the contests and stop complaining. Reddit.com/r/oneplusone also has a large amount of people with invites that give them away for free.

  27. Sexist because guys are not allowed. Damn!!!!!!

  28. So can I buy the phone because this is awesome? You all need to relax. Nobody is forcing you to buy their phone, or take a selfie. You don’t like it? Don’t support their company. Besides, attractive women like the attention. So I suspect most of you against this are probably ugly, and, or carpet munchers. Although most chicks that are into chicks would probably dig seeing other chicks. So, basically STFU. I want to see some more naked chicks.

  29. And can someone please explain to me how allowing women to buy the phone first is sexist? I guess you’d be bitiching if men got the first shot. So, it’s sexist if you get to go to the front of the line, and then it’s also sexist if your told to wait in the back of the line because you’re a chick? See, this just proves how utterly crazy, and nonsensical most womens brains are. They are generally incapable of a rational thought. For example, how many of us know chicks that throw their expensive sunglasses in their purse along with their keys, and then proceed to bitch about having scratched sunglasses? Seriously, why do you not think things through before you act on a whim? This is probably why a lot of dudes start banging dudes.

  30. Let’s all hold hands and have a good cry.

  31. Talk about getting your panties in a bunch…

  32. Really? Of all the things I hate one plus for this is not one… Really how is it sexist? They made a contest gender specific. Nobody would blink an eye if the article was about makeup instead. Then it would be expected or normal why the double standard. I wonder how many women actually got in on their contests throughout them all. Quit this overly sensitive nonsense.

    1. that seems to be a growing trend, people being “offended” over stupid ish.

  33. I don’t get the problem with this. I would say grow a pair, but then maybe you won’t get your invite.

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