Fans angry at face mask sale, but Adidas insists: It happened

Jul 17, 2020

MASKS are, without question, essential to our health in the middle of a pandemic.

They have also unsurprisingly become new status and style symbols.

When the Uniqlo Airism masks debuted in Japan, long lines formed outside branches. When Under Armour launched its athlete-oriented Sportsmask, products were sold out in less than an hour.

On July 15, Pinoy fans got a taste of mask fever.

After the release of an adidas Philippines bulletin to subscribers on Tuesday morning, July 14, many fans waited expectantly for the Three Stripes’ face covers to drop in the adidas app on midnight, July 15.

The combination of a massively popular global brand and an almost unbelievable price point (P300 for a pack of three pieces) made the adidas face masks one of the most hotly anticipated items in an already crowded week of e-commerce activity.

A speedy sell-through was expected. This also happened when the face covers were first launched in the United States, where they were sold out in "a matter of minutes," according to Input Mag. Those face covers were sold for $16, or P792.

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In Singapore, where adidas dropped face covers priced SGD8 (or P284), Singaporean customers seemingly experienced the same thing as well, according to comments on a Twitter thread of Singaporean website Mothership.SG.

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However, many Filipino fans took to social media posts of sites in the Summit Media network to say that the face masks were sold out not within minutes... but within seconds.

In Spin.ph’s own Facebook post reporting the sudden sell-through, a user said: “I guess it was never been available. At 12:01am [it’s] already sold out? It takes 2-3 mins to process an order. Lol.”

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They also aired their grievances about how the brand handled its face cover sale here.

Another netizen felt that the promo was “bait for us to [download] the app. From SOON to SOLD OUT in seconds,” followed by a laughing emoji.

Another user agreed. Posting a screenshot of the app at 12:01 a.m., they said; “I [don’t] think it was even released. Here’s [a screencap] at 12:01 am. Waited and refreshed the app every single minute for this but zilch! These folks from Adidas just baited us to download their app.”

At least one user tagged the Department of Trade and Industry in their comment.

Emotions ran hotter in the Spot.ph Facebook page. While our sister publication did not report on the masks’ sold-out status, many users returned to the original post promoting the sale to vent.

“Bogus,” “fake,” and “fake news” were some of the more unflattering descriptors commenters threw at the global brand.

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In a statement emailed to SPIN Life, Jen Dacasin, adidas Philippines Brand Communications and Sports Marketing Manager, said that the face cover drop was a limited release.

"[Adidas] created an initial run of around 20 million Face Covers globally, which is why in the Philippines, we’ve only been able to release a limited quantity," she said. "We are aiming to scale up to produce more in the coming months, to be able to provide for more customers."

She added that most limited-release drops, from face covers to brand-new Yeezys, usually come with high demand, which result in very quick sell-through of inventory.

Since the pandemic began, the brand has been struggling with customer service issues. Buyers have flooded their social media pages inquiring about the status of their orders.

Less than a month ago, Rappler published a news report on the various issues hitting adidas Philippines.

In a statement sent to reporter Delfin Dioquino, the brand said, “Our consumers are at the heart of everything we do and we are extremely grateful for the support we have continued to receive throughout this process. However, we genuinely regret to have caused disappointment because of the delay in purchase delivery."

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As of posting, there are no longer "out of stock" labels for the face covers in the adidas app. However, no purchase option is available.

Dacasin told SPIN Life that another limited release drop of the face covers will come very soon.

[UPDATE, 17 July, 2:42 p.m.] Updated with adidas statement.

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