The Reason Reese Witherspoon's Dress Giveaway Angered Fans

Reese Witherspoon may be Hollywood's sweetheart but like almost any celebrity, she's not without her own controversies. And this time, it's to do with the dresses she was generously trying to give away via her fashion label, Draper James, which has sparked a public backlash amongst fans.

According to The New York Times, when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the United States, the staff at Draper James wanted to do something to help and thought the best way to do so was by supporting key workers — in particular, the teachers.  So on April 2, Draper James revealed a dress giveaway on Instagram. The company wrote, "Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress." Those who wanted to take advantage of the offer simply needed to register online in return for a free dress.

Draper James faced public backlash over an Instagram giveaway

Unsurprisingly, over 1 million teachers across the nation registered for a free dress and this is when things started to fall apart (via Harper's Bazaar). Unbeknownst to hundreds of thousands of teachers hoping to score a Draper James dress, the offer was only valid while stocks lasted. And as the The New York Times reported, the stock was only limited to 250 dresses, meaning most teachers were going to miss out. "We were really overwhelmed," Marissa Cooley, the senior vice president for brand marketing and creative at Draper James, said. "It was way more volume than the company had ever seen. We expected the single-digit thousands."

Though the company immediately sent an apology email to all interested parties, fans of Draper James and Witherspoon started labelling the giveaway a "marketing ploy," which we can only imagine caused a significant decline in brand trust and loyalty, along with public backlash for the actor.