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Megan from Marketing Speaks Out: Thank You for Understanding

April 17, 2010

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope this entry finds you all well. I’m personally responding to the plethora of comments about the contest and wanted to give you each a little insight into the operations of the contest and to also talk about our experience from the Johnson Products end (or more appropriately, my view, a.k.a the world as Megan sees it).

First and foremost, the new Johnson Products Company, Inc. is a small company run by real people. A few of us (me being one of them) are young women just like you with the same hopes and dreams of success, however we personally define that.

Yesterday, we were looking forward to the midnight deadline wondering who the final Top 48 would be. We have seen your faces, and corresponded with you, so we were just as excited as you all were.

Then, we were alerted that voting had ended prematurely. Our clue? We got an email from one of you saying that voting was closed. Our first response was that it couldn’t be true. But, when we began to receive more complaints we discovered it was, in fact, true. At that moment my colleague and I simultaneously said “[insert your favorite expletive here]!”

We called our third party webmaster and lo and behold we couldn’t get in touch with our project manager because he was on a cross country flight! That project manager held the keys to The Great Model Search kingdom (or queendom). After about 3 hours worth of waiting and troubleshooting, we had our answer and our fix. The voting was set to end precisely at11:59, but a.m. was mistakenly input instead of p.m. as it should have been. And that is the way of the world. They say God is in the details. We all breathed a sigh of relief, added the lost time to the voting process, and began to field all the contestants calls. The vast majority of you were understanding and we appreciate that so much. Others jumped to all sorts of conclusions, but we ask you humbly for your understanding.

It is with my sincerest apologies ladies that this occurred and to say the least we were as shocked, stunned, and disappointed as you. Here, in the marketing department, we work day in and day out responding to emails, getting answers to your questions, fielding calls about prizes, voting, eligibility, etc. And we’ve been sitting here behind the scenes graciously taking it all in, servicing you, trying to make sure everything is working, because like you, we think this is an opportunity. The contest doesn’t work without our diligence and it definitely doesn’t work without your support. Thank you! For those of you who have already viewed the letter from our CEO, even he says thank you!

When we first initiated the contest, we thought that everyone would be fair and treat the contest fairly. Within the first week of the contest we all realized (you included) that we could not let the contest run on it’s own as we had hoped. Contestants were stuffing the votes by registering other peoples emails, placing votes a gazillion times from the same computer under different accounts, registering accounts with the same password, and a few other ways to simply get over on the other girls who were playing fairly. And not all contestants were doing it themselves. Many had people doing it for them and they didn’t even know about it. In the name of fairness and equity, our webmaster had to step in and perform audits all along on passwords, IP addresses, email accounts, you name it. We passed along the warning emails and removed illegal votes. This has been an ongoing and dynamic process. All along we asked contestants to communicate with us about it and you did. A few contestants had extenuating circumstances that we heard and understood. All along the contest has been maintained in a very fair manner and with the utmost diligence (probably with much more intensity than you realize).

We know that you ladies have purchased print, radio, and web media, hired campaign managers, and run to your congregations and schools to get the votes you deserve. This contest is not simply some popularity contest because you all are gorgeous in your own right and many of you have put your best faces and hair forward. Johnson Products’ panel of judges will be judging off of photos based on the criteria set forth in the official rules. We look at inner and outer beauty as evidenced through a photograph and those that move on will be put through an even more rigorous process. That is what discovering the beauty in you is all about, looking within and shining without.

We thank all of you  so much. If you attended the in-store promotions the day we had the radio station there, you probably hung out with a few of us.

The good news is we have quite a few new products coming out plus many more promotions that we will need you all for (Look for details about our Brand Ambassador Program.) At Johnson Products we are a family and you are now apart of this family So, stick with us because we love you all!

Thanks so much,

Marketing Dept.

Thanks, Megan!  That’s an Insider’s Corner scoop! We still have your comments, which we have consolidated into one page, because if we released them all your box would be flooded with many emails.  Most are available on the Page “Voting Concerns” which is a tab (link) at the top right of this page (formerly In the News.) We are directly replying to those that required responses.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2010 3:07 am

    Thanks for the update. That was a huge relief and I am so happy that you guys are so prompt and attentive. I am looking forward to meeting some of you in LA!

  2. Nikia Wainwright permalink
    April 17, 2010 3:31 am

    Good Afternoon Megan,
    I want to personally say that every time I had a concern or question about the contest, I received prompt and accurate information. Reading your blog has given me a better insight of went on behind the scenes. I can tell that everyone at the company was working hard for US, to help us out at all angles. This experience has been a great one, and as I look back at all of my Facebook status, my emails, my long hours at work and community, it was well worth it. This contest actually got me inspired to help women of domestic abuse. When I attendwed the in store promotion in Baltimore, one of the TGMS reps gave me a purple bracelet that I now wear everyday that quotes, “no excuse, no more abuse” When I read that, I immediately said I would tke my purchase along with other personal hygiene products to help women, who at one time, could not help themselves. I myself was on of the contestants who questioned votes, who questioned authenticity, but I could not worry about that. I can only control my OWN destiny, and this morning, my hard work paid off. Again, I want to say how appreciative I am for this opportunity, and if I am selected in ANY way to represent the company, I will do so with class and style! Have a Great Weekend Family!

  3. Shakira permalink
    April 17, 2010 7:59 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your effort. I’m sure yesterday you were daydreaming about one of those Southwest commercials, “want to get away”. LOL But seriously, all in all I think this contest has been an amazing experience for the majority of us.

    However, I’m reading several comments that talk about the last day obstacle which affected EVERYONE and I don’t understand all the complaints. It’s not like it hurt one candidate and didn’t impact another. But that’s life, real life ALWAYS has obstacles and it appears that they seem to come right before our biggest moments. That’s where several of us crumble and give up. Some folks will take this experience and decide that they won’t compete again. But that’s the wrong mentality. It’s being an active participant that really matters. Several women never even entered the contest, sure they signed up, but they had less than 10 votes. If you were in the arena, if you stayed in the game and gave it everything; how can you complain?

    You are not amongst the women who just sat on the sideline. I mean Kobe Bryant is amazing, but he can’t win every game. If you gave it your all and still fell short, well it’s on to the next. We win some and we lose some but we’re players. You would be crazy to sit on the sideline because of one loss. I think we can only expect the best and do our very best regardless of circumstances. Congratulations to all the contest competitors, who gave it their all; I wish you all the best!

    Shakira (Shak)

  4. Andrea permalink
    April 17, 2010 9:51 am

    Please stop kissing ass… this contest was rigged.

  5. Brit permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:35 am

    “However, I’m reading several comments that talk about the last day obstacle which affected EVERYONE and I don’t understand all the complaints.”

    I feel the other contestants have the right to complain. Many of them lost votes close to the end because of audits, which I still have my suspicions about, as well as lost good voting time, because as someone said previously, not a lot of people are going to be up at 3am like they are in the day. And I’ve noticed that all the previous comments are coming from ladies who ARE in the top 48. They don’t have to deal with the disappointment of being tripped up at the last minute like the others do, especially the ones who were already in the top 20 they really had nothing to worry about anyway. So I think it’s a whole lot easier for them to smile right about now about the way everything has gone. As for the others, if they are frustrated and feel cheated they have EVERY right to say so. They are the ones who got their opportunity snatched from them at the last minute, and it IS extremely frustrating.

  6. April 17, 2010 9:40 pm

    Good Morning, Megan.

    You’re so beautiful!!!

    Thank you for the response. That explains alot about why this contest is being run with such taste… women’s touch! I see God in Johnson Products details: you are so responsive to us and constantly creating wonderful brand experiences during this process. I love it and glad to be a part of your Queendom! Love and light, Renee

    • April 17, 2010 10:43 pm

      Brit, you are right. Contestants have a right to complain. Please note, however, that we are living in a different world where computer–even human–error can change things on a dime. A bit of history: When we used to host the Model Search many moons ago when the founder, George Johnson, owned the company, contestants MAILED their entry forms in, from all over the country. Like many pageants, the administrators chose the winners. Since we are living in an American Idol-type world where we can interact with our consumers, we decided that for the New Johnson Products Company, Inc. we would give our consumers the same opportunity to be able to vote for their favorite model hopeful, at least til the next round. It has been a great experience and a lot of fun.

      The only problem was the over-zealous supporters who –also, noting the new technology–concluded, “well, I will sit here and make up fans so my favorite contestant can win.” Those votes are unfair, and since they are also obvious, we thought the best thing for all concerned was simply to delete the VOTES, not the contestant. As we stated before, ANYONE could have done that, even a mean-spirited hater, so we did not penalize the contestant. We have great plans going forward and we learned a lot from this experience, but the best part of all was actually watching the contest grow, getting to know the contestants, awarding those great prizes and planning for the fabulous finale we have coming up in L.A.

      We are a good company, we make good products, and we are so driven to bring this legendary company back to its former greatness. TGMS was our vehicle to let a new generation of consumers know who we are, and how we are once again making our plant accessible to workers who care about the products and the consumers, and creating opportunities. Check out our initiative against domestic violence – No Excuse, Stop the Abuse. The new Johnson Products Company just celebrated our one year anniversary. We hope you will stay tuned–we’ve got big things in store!

  7. Brit permalink
    April 18, 2010 1:43 am

    “TGMS was our vehicle to let a new generation of consumers know who we are, and how we are…”

    You most certainly have succeeded in doing that, rest assured…

    This wasn’t a good start for you at all. If you really wanted to do a model contest you should have simply had a contest where ladies enter their photos and that’s it. Instead of having everyone run around trying to get people to vote for them day and night just to still get stuck with the short end of the stick at the end.


    “Please stop kissing ass…” You took the words right out of my mouth, but of course you know they will continue to kiss up and brown nose because they feel it will get them further.

    Lastly, I would love to hear some DETAILED and I DO MEAN detailed, stories about just HOW exactly some of the top twenty racked up such a high number of “legitimate” votes in such quick periods of time. Sometimes I would check the site and it would seem like certain contestants were rising by the hundreds/thousands within hours.

  8. Serita Love permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:08 am

    Brit: Did you read my DETAILED…very detailed aprroach to collecting LEGITIMATE votes?

    This competition is just that…a COMPETITION… It was not easy to stay at the top, but it was possible. Yes, the glitch was a setback, but so are the glitches in life.

    Until finals are completed, some will continue to win or lose. I’m mentally preparing myself for BOTH.

    I really wish everyone the best in life outside of this competition. The GMS has been wonderful, and they didnt even owe us an explanation, but they gave us one. I respect any company that takes FULL responsibility for honest mistakes…

    -Be blessed…

  9. Vonnita permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:30 am

    @ Britt & @ To The Great Model Search

    This company is under new ownership, if this company requested for me to be a consultant for the growth and new direction for their company I would actually recommend them to a host a model search via internet because of the cost avenues that are available of publicity. Years ago I noticed in ethnic magazines a model search for certain brands of ethnic hair products, personally I never entered those contests because there were requirements of a processing fee. (YOU SHOULD NEVER PAY)
    If this company hosted a mail in model search, then there will be contestants submitting multiple entries, risks of entries getting lost in the postal mail, not to mention the extra labor costs of paying workers to look through, sort, file applications, also more costs to order supplies to full fill properly storing and destroying entries.
    Since this contest was online, it was simple to advertise & promote.

    I am on niether side, I just stand content about everything.
    As for the comment about kissing up, in my opinion it is a wise move. in my undergraduate years I was taught and witnessed the importance of networking and staying relevant (keeping in touch) from recuirters and ceo’s of fortune 500 companies. These girls better express how grateful they are to becoming so close to recieving a check of either $5,000 or $1500. (actually just deduct about 20% from those amounts, after taxes for actual amounts), plus an all expense paid round trip to LA. If I was on that panel I want to know what 16 ladies are appreciative, real talk.

    For the comment about voting, I found out from their fan page, a contestant shared some tips. A girl started calling into radio stations all around the area, there was some more stuff listed. I tried but it failed for me, lol. Britt let me tell you I am also no longer in the running, I was sad for a about seven hours but I got over it from the help of listening to Kanye’s College Dropout & endulging in carmel dulce ice cream by haggan daz. A posting on this blog from the beginning of April stated from this company; mentioned that there is still a possibility of any contestant to be contacted to become a model for their print ads and also commercials. Thats what I’m talking about!!! Trust me I will be stalking these people down via email sending comp cards/pics etc. lol.
    “Faith removes limitation” -anonymous

    To The Great Model Search personel for the positives I like that you provided opportunities to earn bonus entries by attending the live model search or just mailing a upc label along with reciept. Provided opportunities for people to enter without access of computer/internet access- (live model search locations, all locations and dates and times offered many opportunities to attend. It was nice to recieve an email alert that the model search was in the area.

    For The Negatives, well first off I guess its personal. I hated that my last name had to show. It would be nice to just have the first name and maybe the 1st initial of the last name.

    The search engine (search model) on this website needs to be improved. It is not accurate.

    To extend two spots for late submissions. During the last two weeks on voting, I constantly viewed the new contestants that were added to this website. I felt bad for these ladies, becaue they didn’t have a chance. There were about ten contestants were added to this website on april 9th and 12th. I voted for some of my favorite brand new ladies. It would be nice to atleast pick one contestant out of the many new submissions that were uploaded late from the in store model search. So inteading having the top 48 there’s 49. Just a suggestion.

    Once again, this is just response to help you understand, and to express what I would like to see this company improve on if they hosted this model search in 2011. I hope I did not offend anyone, If so I apologize, I did my very best to be considerate and respectful with my response.

    • Megan (From Marketing) permalink
      April 20, 2010 12:07 am

      Excellent feedback Vonnita. As we go into planning the next version of this as we bring The Great Model Search back next year for Men, and hold it again for Women in 2012, we will make continuous improvements, such as providing incentive based opportunities for people to get votes early on (such as attending an in-store promotion, for those who don’t get the support from their radio stations 😉 ) and perhaps some other initiatives. That’s what this is all about taking the learnings from you ladies who participated and making it better. The contest will be back for the ladies 2012.. Stay tuned…

  10. April 19, 2010 6:58 am

    I was going to stay out of this because the comment was made BEFORE I posted my comment. BUUUUTTTTT, there aren’t nearly enough people speaking up for the positive so I’ll do my part since someone graciously gave an agreement to the negative. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and EXPRESSIONS OF GRATTITUDE does NOT equal “kissing ass” and “brown nosing.” The sooner folks learn this the happier and more pleasant they’ll be. 😀 Love you!

  11. April 19, 2010 7:06 am

    Oh, and by the way, I was in another conest that DELETED PROFILES of people that had unfair votes. AT LEAST, TGMS let the profiles stay and took away unfair votes. They really are going beyond the call of duty.

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