The internet can be a rough place. And so can the brutal world of oatmeal photography. (That is a sentence no one has written ever and one which will probably be never written again. So cherish the rarity of such. Go ahead, look back and read it again.) Combine the two and it’s bound to end with angry people and hurtful accusations. 

Quaker Oats UK has a weekly competition called “Show Us Your Oats.” To be considered, oatmeal connoisseurs with an eye for photograph submit images of their porridge (American translation: oatmeal) with their own, unique personal spin along with the hashtag #ShowUsYourOats for a chance to win 10,000 pounds (American translation: $13,972).

In the words of the website:

Share your best Quaker Oats pictures with #ShowUsYourOats for a chance to win each week.

One of the most recent winners, Charlotte O’Connell, was chosen for her delectable image of oatmeal with figs, pistachios, and honeycomb.

But her competitors quickly did some research on O’Connell and, rising to the top, like oats caught in boiling bubbles, was a harsh truth.

The terms and conditions for the competition state that images submitted cannot have been published previously in any medium. By tracing her image through the internet these sleuths found, relatively easily, that O’Connell’s photo was taken from her online business portfolio in a section of her website titled “personal projects.” Not only that, but it seems that she was also an experienced food stylist as well as a recipe writer. Considering the competition is for “amateurs” this also seems unfair.

Her competitors are screaming “cerealsly?”

Following the outrage online, Quaker Oats decided to investigate the matter but, despite competitors seeming to think there was a grain of truth in what they are saying, Quaker concluded that O’Connell’s win was sound.

“Hi all, together with PromoVeritas, we have fully investigated the winner’s entry from last week and are satisfied that no terms and conditions have been breached. ”

They add: “This decision is final, and we’d like to thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention.”

But Quaker isn’t being completely unraisinable.

They decided to select another winner and another 10,000 pound prize from the entries submitted in that week’s competition.  

Leave it to the internet to suck all the fun out of a friendly little competition, they oat to be sorry.



Cover Photo: Jennifer Pallian