OnePlus takes down ‘Ladies First’ contest, looks for suggestions on how to better get women involved in tech


OnePlus One Ladies First promo

In an update to this morning’s post on a OnePlus contest gone awry, OnePlus has officially taken down their ‘Ladies First’ promotion, removing the contest post from their forums and all posts on social media. The contest quickly turned sh*t show after the internet blamed the contest of being sexist — not because of the subject matter, mind you — but because of the way it forum members had to “rate” women based on their appearance. This was all done for a chance at winning a OnePlus One, invites, and other cool prizes.

Even Cyanogen Inc., the Android developers responsible for the software that runs on the OnePlus One, attempted to distance themselves from the contest. Addressing claims of sexism, staff member and forum administrator Carl agreed the promo was “in bad taste.” Here’s the full statement, which has yet to be posted on any of their social media:

“Women make up half the world, and we want to help them be more involved in tech. We understand that our contest was in bad taste, and have therefore pulled it. All participants will be contacted for prizes.

We apologize and we will course correct for the future. At the same time, we would love to hear your feedback on how we can better get women involved in tech.”

Still, despite all the outrage across the interwebs, the contest still saw a few lovely young ladies participating with or without the contest, posting “selfies” of themselves beside OnePlus logos. In fact, another young woman — who seems to have understood better than most what the contest was really about — had no problem posing in her underwear in a separate thread (after the contest thread was taken down) at a 2nd attempt at snagging an invite from the forum’s mostly male members. Guess she never got the memo.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. My favorite by far was the one of the girl giving the finger to One Plus.

    1. I was gonna give my free invites at random to the ladies in that thread but when they cancelled it decide to give it to the males forum members. Girls loss, guys win.

      Ian B

  2. Seems like when Cyanogen moved to become a corp, they screwed themselves and at every turn they look more foolish. One + is and always will be a niche phone.

    1. you know that cyanogen doesn’t manufacture or own one plus, right?

  3. I feel like they should just fire their entire marketing team since they’re all such failures.

  4. This company is all types of fail

  5. To be known henceforth as the slut phone….

  6. don’t see how this contest keeps women from being involved in tech. they shouldn’t have pulled it as it was harmless. post a pic of yourself showing the oneplus logo. what’s wrong with that?

    women need to not be so self-conscious and guys need to lay off the porn and grow up.

    1. Apparently, it’s bad to rate women on their appearance because, hey…
      why would we want to be shallow like that? But when a new phone comes
      out, the ‘sex appeal’ of the thing is about all people manage to talk
      about. I bet some of them even drool on their keyboards. (No, I don’t understand it either.)

      1. So should companies only take money from people deemed sexy enough?

        And are actually comparing the figurative sex appeal of an inanimate object to the actual sex appeal of a person? Do you really think its okay to judge a person’s value entirely on their sex appeal? If yes, maybe you should return to your cave.

        1. the contest was not judging anyone’s value as a human being based on their sex appeal. you’re overreacting.

          yes, they were going to give a free phone and invites to the prettiest looking girls. this doesn’t mean these women had to degrade themselves, just post a pic of themselves showing the 1+ logo. again, totally harmless.

          this contest was simply the victim of neo-political correctness.

          1. I was referring to Gideon’s comment, not the contest specifically. He said it’s okay to value phones by their attractiveness, so it must be okay to value human beings by their attractiveness. I called BS on that.

            “this doesn’t mean these women had to degrade themselves…”
            And those that didn’t wouldn’t win an invite, had the contest gone on as planned.

          2. ‘He said it’s okay to value phones by their attractiveness, so it must be okay to value human beings by their attractiveness.’

            Actually, that’s kind of the reverse of what I meant. If it’s not okay to judge a person by their attractiveness, then it shouldn’t be okay to do the same with gadgets. Trust me, I understand your distaste for this kind of thing. And I am similarly appalled when a new phone comes out with some killer specs, and there’s a bunch of nimrods on sites like this who can’t talk about anything else but how similar it looks to last year’s model. I honestly don’t understand peoples’ fascination with the cosmetics of inanimate objects, and I have spent a significant amount of time trying to figure this out. Like, maybe there’s some ‘shallow gene’ I’m missing, or something. If it were a house we were talking about, I’d be willing to cut them some slack. But a phone? I don’t get it.

          3. Gadgets don’t have feelings… they can’t be demeaned. I do feel the same about people’s fascination with the cosmetic appearance of stuff they buy. When I buy a car, I’m looking for something to get me from point A to point B reliably and affordably, comfort features are secondary, appearance is a distant third. A lot of people seem to look for the exact opposite. Form vs function.

    2. You’ll never take my precious porn!

    3. so nice to be a guy to have the ability to tell a woman how she should react when being devalued. let me guess, you’ve never looked at porn or not continue to as well?

      nice glass house…

      1. no, believe it or not, i don’t watch porn. haven’t in more than 2 years. again, the contest was harmless. those who put in serious entries did not post any provocative pics. most of the submissions resembled something you would see in a family photo album. there were a few submissions from girls who were in fact very pretty, but the pics were as modest as you could get. yes, you had some entries that were quite distasteful but those were few.

        i was quite surprised to go through most of the pages in that thread and not feel like i was at a bangbros trial membership site. when i see girl picture threads i don’t even click on them because i know what i’m gonna end up seeing.

  7. So what’s next Tinder is gonna get pulled… unbelievable this world is full of many thin skinned cry babies. If it offended you fine… don’t play… not everything thing has to be ok with everyone…

    1. where’s the prize for posting a tinder profile? false equivalency alert…

      1. Really …? you must have never used tinder if you think theres no prize for posting on there, Lmao.. dork
        That said a phone/invite to buy is not a right, you are not entitled to it, they should be able to make whatever contest they want. You don’t like it, don’t play…period

        1. so you’re okay with a company resorting to a popularity contest where women have to subject themselves to exploiting themselves for an invite to purchase instead of promoting the phone based on the quality that everyone claims is top notch?

          it seems one plus isn’t very confident if they have to resort to those kinds of tactics.

          by the way, they can make whatever contest they want. they also understand they can be called out on it and suffer the consequences for an idiotic marketing campaign. it works both ways.

          you’ll just have to get your kicks somewhere else. sorry, dude.

          1. You will have to give the guy a break BillySuede it was his first comment ever

          2. sorry. don’t mean to come off as self-righteous. the argument is so weak that it needed to be addressed.

          3. Na that’s fine I totally agree with you

      2. The price is the woman! :D

  8. I wish we lived in a perfect world. We don’t. Never will. Get over it.

    1. I wish we lived in a perfect world. We don’t. Never will. Try to improve it as best you can.

      1. I agree we should try to improve it, but empty complaints about some dumb contest isn’t helping make it any better. It should be embarrassing to humanity that we complain about such things when there are many much more important issues, that is, if you call this issue important.

    2. The fact that this isn’t a “perfect world” has nothing to do with the ridiculous decisions OnePlus has made over and over again. Making people jump through hoops like trained monkeys to obtain the privledge of buying their phone is just plain stupidity.

      1. I was talking about all the sexist talk that people were complaining about really. As far as the OnePlus marketing strategy, while it may seem dumb, it’s their product, their investment, they should be able to market it however they wish. If the phone fails it’s their fault.

        1. Okay. So the world’s not perfect, so go ahead and be sexist?

          1. No sexism isn’t right, but the line has to be drawn somewhere, and this contest, while maybe sexist by definition caused no harm.

  9. I don’t know who this company has for their marketing, but this and the phone smashing are 2 of the stupidest ideas ever.

    1. If I get my invites I’m going to have to give them to that female that reposted her pics.
      Sorry Chris, you’ll be next in line. But hell, I’m not sure when or how many I’ll be able to share.

  10. I’m sure they’ll give invites to all 20 Ladies that entered the contest. At the risk of sounding sexist, I’m not sure a phablet is the best phone for the ladies. I’m sure some would love it but for many it’s just too big. I got mine today and it’s an awesome phone. If you love tech it’s hard not to love this phone. It holds it’s own and then some with all the flagship phones on the market right now. CM did a great job.

    1. A lot of women have phablets. On my commute on public transit I see them and they carry them in a handbag.

      1. I stand corrected. That all makes sense. They aren’t trying to shove them into their pants pocket like guys do.

    2. My wife has a Note 2. If anything, a phablet is better suited to women since they can carry it it around in their purse. I found it annoying having a big phone in my pockets.

    3. Actually, it’s mostly women that I’ve seen with them.

  11. One plus one, minus one. You take one down, you pass it around..

  12. Please consider a post about touch issues and hardware problem not managed by OnePlus customer support

  13. lol what a fail….ill stick with my moto

  14. All men and ugly women should be pissed at this contest, and the women who submitted should be pissed that they were considered dumb for not finding it sexist.

  15. Well that was quick.

  16. While the voting thing was a little sexist, it’s not the worst I’ve seen. However, I’m not sure there’s actually a problem they’re looking to solve. As father of a pre-teen daughter who attends a dance school with older girls, I can say that I don’t really see an issue with girls and women using technolgy. Her friends and their mothers are texting, Instagramming, Facetiming, etc. all the time.

    They may not be spec junkies, but then neither are most of the men and boys I know, either. A free phone contest isn’t the sort of thing that’s going to get women interested in science and technology if they aren’t already interested in all the new phones and tablets that are coming out all the time.

    Form and features (i.e. what they can actually do with it) are more important to the average person of either gender. Jumping through hoops for a phone from a company they’ve never heard of isn’t going cause people to switch from the iPhone. Instead of these silly contests for invites, they should concentrate on real marketing that gets their name past the tech crowd and on improving their production and sales channels so people can actually buy their product.

  17. I don’t understand why these companies feel they need to target women at all. If anything, it’s my experience that women embrace technology as well as the men. If anything, anything specifically targeted towards women seems to fail. (What was that purple phone with the light cord?) IMNSHO women want the same thing as men when it comes to technology. User friendly, nice looking, and functional. I’m not the norm among my friends, in that I do know the specs and drool over the newest phone. The great thing about technology is that it is not gender specific. It’s user specific. I want more from my phone, (loving my LG G3) my husband wants it to make calls he can hear, text, and send emails. My friends are all over the board with what they want.

  18. All you had to do was not say “no nudes please” and you would have been fine…..

  19. I’ve never seen a company make their customers jump through so many hoops to get their products before. Its hilarious! Breaking their own phones on camera, begging for invites in forums and comments sections (lol!…sorry…that one was genius) and now having them post pics of their girlfriends so they and internet commentors can rate them. Awesome! And google kids call the people lined up for iPhone isheep? I wonder if plus one will take suggestions on what we can get android fans to do for their phones! I say we find the breaking pointe, something epic but in completely bad taste. I think Tim cook secretly runs this company he has the money so profit smoffit give him a pic of you trying to lick your own ass like a dog…now here’s your $300 phone. Enjoy!

  20. They should have just keep keep running this contest and not listen to a bunch of dude crying sexism just because they’re guys and don’t have a chance to win an invite

    1. Women would be less likely to purchase the phones if they know the company is sexist.

      1. Definition of sexism/sexist…..Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender.[1] Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles,[2][3] and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.[4] A job applicant may face discriminatory hiring practices, or (if hired) receive unequal compensation or treatment compared to that of their opposite-sex peers.[5] Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence….. Still don’t see how this contest fits this definition.

        1. Most people don’t understand what irony means either, that doesn’t mean they don’t use the term incorrectly. The idea that woman were being judged on their looks at the behest of the company will most certainly engender feelings of disdain whether its called sexism, misogyny, rape culture, sexual objectification, or the countless other buzz words that people faux rage about… the point is the same. Women won’t buy their product.

          1. I don’t remember it stating anywhere that the most attractive women would be voted it, it just stated that people would vote on “their” choice of best picture. I could be wrong but i don’t remember seeing that as part of the contest, though i’m willing to admit I was wrong if you can prove it did

          2. Seriously??? What criteria do you think the voters (all men) would use? Are you that naive?

          3. Speak for yourself man. Don’t assume all men think the same way

          4. Not all men, but you *know* most men do.

          5. Not really trying to prove you wrong or even argue for that matter.

        2. You don’t think deciding who may buy a phone based on who’s deemed most attractive is sexism?

  21. …why not sell phones to people who want it

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