Toys “R” Us Sweepstakes …FAIL and thrice win

In 2007 Toys “R” Us would award the first baby born in 2007 a $25,000  United States savings bond.  Yuki Lin was born at exactly midnight at New York Downtown Hospital, thus securing her title as the First American Baby Born in 2007. However, the night quickly turned into a “PR-ish” nightmare when sweepstakes officials revealed that all the requirements had not been met. Yuki Lin was a US citizen, but her parents were not.

Toys “R” Us changed their minds and said that Yuki could not claim the prize. Instead, a baby born in Georgia to U.S. citizens was awarded the savings bond, and Yuki got a $100 gift basket as a consolation prize. Two other babies were found to be born around the same time and had been finalists in the drawing.

The story had became national news and The World-Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper published a story about Yuki’s loss of opportunity.

In an attempt to negate the negative attention and to fix the problem all together, Toys “R” Us decided to award Yuki, the baby in Georgia AND the other baby born in Long Island to parents from El Salvador each with a $25,000 savings bond.

Baby Yuki Lin was a U.S. citizen, so why would that young child be given any LESS of an opportunity or treated as less than another citizen because of that child’s parents?  I think it was preposterous that anyone would revoke such a beautiful gift to a child and their family on New Years because of findings of non-citizenship of the parents.

I appreciate what they did at the end though.  I think that was a good call.  Sometimes you have to say rules are rules but there is a point where I think humanity draws the line and things aren’t as black and white as we sometimes treat them to be.

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2 Comments »

  1. seallen1 Said:

    This is definitely a crisis in PR, but I’d have a few questions before I took either side. Were there really terms and rules that applied to this situation which would have caused Yuki Lin’s family not to be qualified? If Toys R Us did have certain requirements posted before the time of the award then I think those should be followed through with. And I also am curious about the parents. Were they living here illegally or were they here on a green card or visa? If they were here illegally, then I think that’s definitely something Toys R Us should have taken into consideration. However, if they took the proper steps to live in the United States by obtaining a green card, then Toys R Us shouldn’t have discriminated. However, in terms of PR, Toys R Us did the right thing for themselves by awarding the money to Yuki Lin’s family.

  2. […] 2. Toys “R” Us Sweepstakes…FAIL and thrice win by Public Relations Applications […]


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