International prize promotions: recent rule changes

International prize promotions: recent rule changes

Promotions in Canada

Quebec. It’s the second-largest province in Canada in terms of population and the largest in terms of area. Its capital is Quebec City, but more people reside in Montreal, and its official language is French. I have no doubt it’s a great place to live and to visit. However, it’s always been something of a bête noire for brands wanting to run international promotions that include the province. That’s because you had to comply with a set of – to be frank – rather complicated rules.

Promotions in Quebec are regulated by an office called the Régie des Alcools, des Courses et des Jeux (RACJ) and, for example, it requires international promoters to register any promotion with a prize value above a certain amount, provide security for promotions with high-value prizes and supply detailed winner information.

At least it did. Fortunately for those of us in the prize promotions business, at the end of last year the Quebec government changed the rules, so in essence if a promotion is truly international and is open to both Quebec residents and people who live outside Quebec, it now doesn’t have to comply with the Régie’s rules (and compliance is always of the greatest importance to Prizeology).

Actually, not only is this relaxation of the rules good news for promoters, it’s good news for Québécois too, because in the past what inevitably used to happen was that brands tended not to run their promotion in Quebec. It was simply too much trouble, so Quebec residents lost out, which they don’t need to do now.

Promotions in the Republic of Ireland

And Canada isn’t the only place where there have been some relatively recent changes to the regulations that govern promotions, because amendments to the Republic of Ireland’s Gaming and Lotteries Act mean that if you’re operating a ‘game of chance’ promotion you may not need a lottery licence.

I say ‘may not’ as there are all sorts of quite complicated ‘if this, then that’ hoops to jump through and I’ll have you running round in circles clutching your head if I go into the full details but essentially it’s linked to the value of your prize pool. However, it’s essentially good news, because previously you did need a licence for any promotion for which a purchase was necessary and now you might not.

Also, as only charities can apply for the licence, promoters always had to make a donation to charity and usually incurred costs for the legal paperwork. Now some promotions with lower value prizes may not require a license anymore and although this won’t make a massive difference to on-pack promotions with higher value prizes and extensive distribution, it’s still a move in the right direction.

Prize promotions are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, so if you’re interested in how to run compliant promotions in Ireland, its website should probably be your first stop.

International prize promotions

All this is by way of illustrating that conducting international prize promotions can be quite a headache, but it’s the type of headache that Prizeology specialises in (not causing headaches, but curing them, of course). If you own an international brand, international prize promotions can be extremely effective and at Prizeology we keep on top of any rule changes, we have the maps and phrase books, and we really know our way around them.

If you’d like to go international, call Prizeology on 020 7856 0402 or email us via

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