Sunday Riley and Sephora have both responded to claims the skincare brand creates fake product reviews on the Sephora website, according to a report by Allure.
The response comes after a former employee posted a leaked company email onto a Reddit thread, which claimed that the company asked employees to leave fake reviews on the Sephora website.
Sunday Riley used Instagram to address the claims, stating, “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.”
In order to address its part in the chain of events, Sephora has now also released a statement, which reads in part, “Sephora has very strict brand rules regarding our Ratings and Reviews, which we know are an important decision tool for our clients.
“Additionally, we have teams dedicated to protecting the integrity of our Ratings and Reviews, ensuring through detailed moderation that it’s a constant trusted, unbiased, authentic source for all. We do not believe this incident is representative of the Sephora Ratings and Reviews culture, or the countless hours our clients have spent sharing their product experiences with us and others. We’ve been in touch with Sunday Riley on this matter, and they have committed to adhering to our review policy.”
As part of the email, the company asked staff to create a convincing reviewer profile as well as how to structure the review itself.