epa06640197 A handout photo made available by the World Surf League (WSL) of Nikki Van Dijk of Australia placed second in Heat 1 of Round 3 at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach near Torquay, Australia, 01 April 2018. EPA/ED SLOANE WSL HANDOUT No rights for sale or for commercial use or modification of the Content are granted in any way, including any right to associate the Content or any subject or brand with a commercial brand or message. HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Surfing brand Rip Curl is not looking for models on Instagram

AAP FactCheck February 17, 2020

The Statement

A post on Instagram headlined “Ripcurl Model Application” is attracting a lot of shares and comments with an apparent call for “Models aged 11-21” to represent surfwear brand Rip Curl.

The Instagram post from December 29, 2019, states: “We Are Looking For  Models Aged 11 – 21 To Represent Ripcurl In Displaying Our New Season Of Clothing And Footwear For 2020!”.

The post says that “to apply” Instagram users need to “Follow Our Page @ripcurl_models” and “Share The Post To Your Story.”

The post goes on to claim successful applicants will be chosen by a “Board Of Modelling Directors,” with successful applicants to receive “The Opportunity To Become A Model at Ripcurl” as well as various products, gift cards and store discounts.

The post has been viewed more than 65,000 times and received more than 3700 likes.

An Instgram post from December 29, 2019.
 An Instagram post is attracting shares with an apparent call for models to represent Rip Curl. 

The Analysis

Rip Curl is an Australian founded surfing brand company and was sold to Kathmandu for $A350 million in 2019. The company’s name is written as two words, not “Ripcurl” as appears throughout the Instagram post.

Rip Curl’s Australian Instagram account also shows the name as two words.

The “ripcurl_models” Instagram account made its first post on December 21, 2019, with the image of the official Rip Curl logo and no caption. The post for the supposed model call out was posted on December, 29, 2019.

Rip Curl Media and Communications Manager, Mimi LaMontagne, told AAP FactCheck that the “@ripcurl_models” Instagram account and its call for models are not genuine.

Ms LaMontagne said the company does not conduct model searches on Instagram or any other social media platform and the Rip Curl Group “is in no way associated with the Instagram account“.

Surfer Nikki Van Dijk at the Rip Curl Pro                                      
Rip Curl is the sponsor of the Rip Curl Pro held at Bells Beach, Victoria. 
“Rip Curl became aware of the @ripcurl_models Instagram account on January 8, 2020, and a ticket was immediately lodged with Instagram flagging its inauthenticity asking for the account to be removed from the platform,” Ms LaMontagne told AAP FactCheck.

A series of other Instagram accounts impersonating major brands and following a similar recruitment drive strategy have popped up on the social media platform in the past. Men’s fashion website HYPEBEAST reported a similar fake Nike account using the same recruitment tactic. While the Daily Mail documented evidence of people falling for a similar fake campaign by an account purporting to be from Lululemon the same year.

The Verdict

Based on the evidence, AAP Factcheck found the Facebook post to be false. The “@ripcurl_models” account is not associated with surfwear brand Rip Curl and the surfwear company has confirmed it does not conduct model searches on Instagram.

False – The primary claims of the content are factually inaccurate.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://factcheck.aap.com.au/

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