Jessica Olie, a yogi with over 648,000 followers on Instagram, is attempting to clear up confusion and anger about a weekly giveaway contest she offered that’s apparently no longer happening every week.
Olie made the announcement in an Instagram post two Sundays ago that she planned to do “weekly giveaways” on what she called “giveaway Sunday” going forward. Followers could enter to win some of Olie’s merch, like branded yoga mats and her yoga e-books.
However, the next Sunday came and went with no giveaway. Some fans began to suspect that the so-called weekly giveaways were only a plot to gain engagement and followers and that Olie didn’t actually plan to commit to them.
Olie told BuzzFeed News she only had plans to do “multiple giveaways” and that she had no ulterior motives other than giving back.
“I had planned to do multiple giveaways,” she told BuzzFeed News. “These giveaways were intended to be as a way to give back to people and my community who have shown a lot of support, not to boost engagement or followers.”
On Aug. 4, Olie announced in a post that “GIVEAWAY SUNDAY STARTS TODAY.”
“I think it would be awesome to do weekly giveaways on my page, so let’s kick this off with a bang,” Olie wrote.
Olie said that to be eligible, followers “MUST tag a friend and show them love,” like the post, and share it on their personal pages. Followers also had to follow her and her yoga franchise account.
The comments were initially flooded with excitement and friend-tagging. Then, after a week passed, users then began flooding the post with inquiries about who the winner was and if another weekly giveaway was coming the following Sunday.
According to a user who posted their frustrations on Reddit this week, almost a week went by — almost heading into the next expected giveaway — without a winner being announced, or if another “weekly” contest was going to happen.
The poster began to wonder if it was a “scam,” and others who entered the giveaway had apparently began wondering themselves.
“Someone in her comments asked if it was a scam and [Olie] told them ‘she was taking her time picking the winner,’” the user wrote.
Olie gave BuzzFeed News a similar response about the delay in choosing a winner. (Winners have since been chosen and announced according to an Instagram story she shared this past Sunday.)
“I had announced the winners later than planned as I received much more comments than anticipated and wanted to actually take my time to pick the two winners,” she said.
However, as fans anticipated another giveaway happening Sunday, some grew more perplexed.
“Is this giveaway over?” a commenter wrote; “No more mat giveaways?” another wrote with a sad face emoji.
After one person wrote a lengthy comment on a recent, unrelated Instagram photo expressing that they “feel used and lied to” and that her followers are “just props for [her] lavish lifestyle.”
“We gave you this life, you don’t have to give back to us, but don’t say you are going to do something kind and then act like you didn’t,” they added.
Olie responded, directing them to the recently announced winners post.
When asked if the “weekly” giveaways were still to be done weekly, or if plans had changed, Olie told BuzzFeed News her only plans were to do “multiple” sweepstakes and that “last Sunday was the first one.”
“I’m hoping to be able to do another one with a different theme this Sunday coming and have a quicker turnaround now I know the kind of volume of comments to expect,” she said.
Olie added that she’s only focused on the goodwill of it all.
“Despite any backlash about the time it took to pick the winners I’m still so happy to be able to give my products to two women who have shown me so much compassion and support,” she said.
Jessica Olie’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this post.