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The Story of EE, Twitter and the Missing Glastonbury Ticket

The Story of EE, Twitter and the Missing Glastonbury Ticket

When Terry Finnegan won a ticket to Glastonbury through a competition run by mobile phone giant EE, his thoughts immediately turned to wellies, tents and coping without a shower for five days. But he was soon stopped in his tracks.

To celebrate the launch of its official Glastonbury app, EE asked its Twitter followers to recreate famous album covers with unusual materials, with the ten best entries winning tickets to the legendary music festival, being held in just under a fortnight.

The competition soon picked up interest on Facebook, so EE decided to extend the promotion, and pick five winners from either social network to take to Glastonbury.

However, EE's promotional agency Poke London did not incorporate this amendment into the competition's Terms and Conditions, which stated that ten entries from Twitter would be chosen. As a result, five Twitter winners were left without a Glastonbury ticket, including Liverpool lad Terry.

In order to compensate for the lack of a trip to Glastonbury, EE offered the five Twitter "losers" vouchers to use on Ticketmaster, equal to the price of two weekend Glastonbury tickets.

But Terry, whose winning entry recreated the cover of a Calvin Harris album using Lego, would not accept the alternative prize, and took to Twitter to air his discontent.

The hashtag #GiveTerryHisGlastoTickets was born, and quickly attracted hundreds of tweets from angry users demanding EE honour their promise. Former boxer Lennox Lewis even stepped in to offer his support, telling Terry "I'm in your corner!"

Then Terry investigated further, and found the Twitter accounts of four other "winners". The accounts immediately raised suspicions; two accounts had sent only one tweet, their entry to the competition, and two accounts had only one follower... EE.

When EE eventually acknowledged his campaign, claiming that there had been "confusion" over the rules of the competition and the prizes on offer, Terry hit back, armed with the company's own Terms and Conditions for the competition:

Never one to miss out on a piggyback promotional opportunity, rival phone network O2 stepped into the debate, tweeting Terry to offer him free tickets to O2 Academy events for the rest of the year, whilst also using the #GiveTerryHisGlastoTickets hashtag in their post.

Eventually EE buckled under the pressure of Terry's online campaign, and have now given Terry and the other four winners the Glastonbury tickets they were promised.

An EE spokeswoman said: "This was an honest mistake, but we've been working hard to find a solution and we're delighted to say we've managed to source some extra tickets. Terry and all the competition winners will be going to Glastonbury."

Reflecting on the success of his Twitter campaign, Terry told HitSearch: "The power of social media now makes it possible for the little guy to win. Never give up!"

There is plenty for brands to learn from this episode, from effective social media strategies to online reputation management. But perhaps the most important is to never neglect the Terms and Conditions!

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