ASA ruling: Briley Powell prize draw

I’ll be honest. Until very recently I hadn’t heard of Briley Powell, but thanks to the ASA I now know she’s an Instagrammer. Indeed, you might call her an influencer. However, this isn’t so much about who she is as what she did. And what she did was failed to send out some prizes, at least according to a prize draw winner, who complained to the ASA.

In her response to the ASA, Briley said she was “not aware of the requirements associated with running giveaways”. Unfortunately, ignorance is no defence and that’s why you should do your due diligence and ideally get advice from a prize promotions specialist (yes, like Prizeology, obviously!).

Briley also said she had posted the Molly-Mae tanning kit, Beauty Works hair curler and White Company gift set to the winner, but the winner said they hadn’t received them. Unfortunately, Briley couldn’t provide any tracking information. Although at Prizeology we’d argue there’s actually a lot more to prize fulfilment than this, but obtaining proof of postage is basic.

What Briley admits she didn’t do was post the most valuable element of the prize package, which was a £250 Pretty Little Thing voucher. She said she decided to delay sending the voucher after being contacted by the winner who said they had not received the prizes that had already been sent. This seems somewhat strange to me – I mean, why would you not send all the prizes at the same time? – but I’ll go with it.

Don’t take that tone with me…

Anyway, the story continues, because Briley was concerned about the ‘tone’ of the winner’s messages – truly, I have never heard the like – so she took a look at their entry and discovered that in her view the winner had breached the prize draw’s entry requirements. She said the winner had not been following her, as required for the competition, and also that the winner used spam accounts to find and participate in giveaways. Consequently, she didn’t send the voucher.

So what did the ASA say? It said that although Briley claimed to have sent three of the four prizes, she didn’t have any proof of that and under the CAP Code a promoter is responsible for ensuring – which means being able to prove – that prizes are properly awarded (and by the way, just to be clear, the brands whose products were offered as prizes weren’t involved in the promotion).

Likewise, Briley couldn’t prove that the winner had breached the entry conditions by not following her. The winner might not have been following her when she came to review the entry, but could have been following her at the time when the entry was made. It wasn’t stipulated in the Ts&Cs that entrants had to continue to follow Briley, so perhaps the winner had swiftly unfollowed her?

Strange sequence of events

Now what seems extraordinary to me is that Briley didn’t verify the entry and make sure her chosen winner had done all that they should have done first, before she notified them. Again, that’s basic (and, again, an area of prize promotions where Prizeology has a great deal of expertise).

The ASA ruled that there was no justification for failing to send the voucher and, because the CAP Code had been contravened, it upheld the complaint. It told Briley to ensure that she awarded prizes as described in her marketing communications and that prizes could not be withheld without a justified reason.

The ASA doesn’t appear to have followed up on Briley’s assertion that the winner also used spam accounts to find and participate in giveaways. Another reason why Briley should have verified the winner before awarding the prize – but the ASA is not concerned with consumer behaviour, only Promoter actions (or inactions).

However, to wrap up, Briley Powell is the latest in what is becoming an increasingly long line of influencers who don’t know how to run a fair prize promotion, don’t adhere to the CAP Code and don’t seem to care that they’re behaving immorally and illegally – and that needs to change.

If you’d like professional help with your prize promotion, call Prizeology on 020 7856 0402 or email us via hello@prizeology.com.

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Founder and Chief Prizeologist. 

© Prizeology and The Prizeologist Blog, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

 

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