Prize promotions – why you need to deliver

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A man called Peter Wilson was recently the subject of an ASA ruling. Back in March this year he ran a promotion on Instagram. It was a giveaway and the prize was a voucher for £100. A winner was drawn, but she didn’t receive her prize and challenged whether the promotion had been conducted fairly. Mr Wilson said the prize had been sent to the winner by post. He acknowledged that the winner had not received it, but believed he had fulfilled his obligations.

In the ruling Mr Wilson is described as ‘t/a Bearthecheekychow’. I did a little investigating and found a Go Fund Me page for Bear the Cheeky Chow. The page was raising money for vets’ fees because, rather sadly, Bear has a disease called osteochondritis dissecans, which can result in lameness, pain and osteoarthritis. I say ‘has’, but even more sadly, I see from the @bearthecheekychow Instagram page that Bear passed away in July.

I don’t know for sure, but I have a strong suspicion that the giveaway and the funding page are linked. I am very much a dog lover so for me this is genuinely heart-breaking, but unsurprisingly the ASA upheld the complaint.

The CAP Code states that promoters must award prizes as described or a reasonable equivalent. The ASA considered it was Mr Wilson’s responsibility to ensure there were sufficiently robust procedures in place to be able to show that the prize had been posted, but because it wasn’t sent by recorded or signed-for delivery there was no evidence to prove this.

Again, this is sad, but it does illustrate that whoever you are, multi-national or pet-lover, you need to comply with the CAP Code and the guiding principle of that is that you must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment to winners.

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist. 

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