A viral photo from the Instagram account @lulurecruitment, promising free clothing to selected “ambassadors” who repost the photo on their own accounts, has been proven fake, BuzzFeed News reports.
On Thursday, a company spokesperson told the outlet that “Lululemon is not associated with this account and we are working with Instagram to have it removed.”
In addition to reposting the photo and following the recruitment account, the requirements specified that ambassadors had to have at least 150 followers to be considered. This figure definitely seems a bit low for a brand that already has 2.7 million followers.
As of Friday morning, the @lulurecruitment account appears to have been removed from Instagram. Before this, however, BuzzFeed News reports that it amassed a whopping 211,000 followers.
We're not associated with any accounts without the blue verified checkmarks. Our brand protection team has been looped in of the fake accounts and are hustling hard for a solution.
— lululemon (@lululemon) December 14, 2018
The scam is similar to one run this past summer by @nike.recruitss, a fake Instagram account that claimed to be associated with Nike. Just like the Lululemon scam, the Nike one asked participants to follow the recruitment account and repost the photo. The latter also had an oddly low follower requirement—250 was the minimum, to represent a brand with 83 million followers of its own.
Like with the Nike scam, many people who participated in the Lululemon “promotion” were excited about the possibility of becoming an ambassador.
“I would absolutely love to be an ambassador! Pick me!!” one woman said, according to BuzzFeed News. Another woman asked “How amazing would this opportunity be?!?!”
Other people low-key wondered how anyone could fall for it:
If you’re having a bad day just know that there are some people out there that think lululemon might recruit them as an ambassador on December 31st
— Autumn (@autumnvreug) December 13, 2018
Lululemon is not going to make you a brand ambassador just take your finals and go
— Alyssa Barefield (@alyssa_bare23) December 13, 2018
While the source of the viral photo is gone, a quick Instagram search for “lulurecruitment” brings up at least 20 other variants. Many of these have several thousand followers, and have posted the same recruitment photo on their accounts.
While I certainly don’t think it’s necessary to bash people who participate in things like this, I do hope people will do their research in the future. Some smaller brands do use Instagram to recruit ambassadors, but I’d say your guard should probably be up whenever a big name appears on your feed, promising free clothing just for reposting a photo. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.