I’m the first to admit that prize promotions can be a somewhat impenetrable world, so I thought it might be helpful to round up and answer a few of the questions which we often get asked.
Which terms and conditions are important in a prize promotion?
What am I going to say? They’re all important, because they explain exactly how your promotion works. Each set of terms and conditions is unique, because each promotion is unique, even if it’s only because it has a different closing date to the promotion you ran last year.
Furthermore, ‘significant’ Ts&Cs should also be stated in the initial marketing material. What are significant Ts&Cs? Of course, it depends on the promotion, but, although they not all may apply all the time, rule 8.17 of the CAP Code does provide a list of the ‘significant’ Ts&Cs for prize promotions.
They are: the starting date; the closing date; the number and nature of the prizes; how to participate; any restrictions on entry, for example age, geographical or technological; any permissions for entry which must be obtained; details of free-entry routes or proof of purchase requirements if relevant; the availability of promotional packs if not obvious; and the promoter’s name and address.
How do I run a prize promotion across several countries?
People often don’t realise that the regulations for running prize promotions can be completely different in different countries. For example, not only do the UK and the Republic of Ireland have different regulations, but the UK and Northern Ireland have different regulations, too. And don’t get me started on Italy.
To be honest, there’s no easy answer to this one other than to use a specialist like Prizeology, which is experienced at running global prize promotions and can make sure you have access to the appropriate legal advice for each jurisdiction you want to work in.
Can I give away someone else’s products?
Legally, there’s nothing to prevent you giving away someone else’s products and of course successful prize promotions rely on offering third party products and services as prizes. However, I would advise you to proceed with caution.
For example, if you go out and buy the latest smart TV to offer as a prize, you don’t, strictly speaking, need permission from the manufacturer of the TV. However, I know it’s hard to believe, but that company may not want to be associated with your brand. You also need to be careful about using another company’s logo in your marketing, because you could infringe their trademark. Using someone else’s product implies that they are endorsing or participating in your promotion, and this can become a significant problem.
What’s more, if you simply go out and buy a prize off the shelf, you’ll likely pay the recommended retail price, whereas if you use a company like Prizeology that specialises in prize sourcing, your budget will go a great deal further and your promotion will ultimately have far more impact.
Needless to say, we always get permission for our clients to give away someone else’s products.
What is an ‘instant win’?
In an instant win promotion, the winning tickets are randomly distributed inside or on promoted products. Consumers can check whether they’ve won or claim their prize immediately, usually by going online. We’re often asked about magic moment promotions, too. These are a type of instant win promotion where the winners are chosen based on time-slots. At Prizeology we find these work really well for our clients.
In large-scale promotions, to ensure that the prizes are allocated on a fair and truly random basis a technique called seeding is used. This is a service Prizeology offers and it’s a way of ensuring that not all the winners come from, say, a small village in Cumbria and that a national promotion really does reach all corners of the UK.
With instant win promotions it can happen that not all prizes are claimed within the promotional period, so promoters sometimes guarantee a certain number of prizes or prizes worth a certain amount will be won. These are then awarded using a traditional prize draw mechanism.
Do I have to make a list of winners available?
It might seem like a tiresome admin task that has to be done at the end of a successful promotion, but winners’ lists are important, because they show prizes were actually awarded and a promotion was fair and conducted properly.
The CAP Code was recently revised to take account of data protection laws, so although as a promoter you must still provide the names and counties of winners on request, you must also offer entrants the opportunity to opt out of the list. As I explained in a recent post, you have to inform them of this right before they actually enter your promotion, so it needs to be covered off in the terms and conditions.
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist.