Prize promotions in Italy – five things you need to know

I recently wrote a fairly general post about the key issues you need to consider when running a global prize promotion, so in this post I thought I’d pick a country and highlight some of the specific prize promotions-related issues that arise in that country, as that will give a good sense of what the hurdles to be jumped and the barriers to be negotiated can be.

I’ve chosen Italy more or less at random, but it’s a good one, because at first glance the regulations around prize promotions appear somewhat quirky and, well, rather constraining. I’d be lying if I said they weren’t. The Italians have given us pasta and pizza, and they make indisputably delicious ice cream, but they don’t necessarily make it easy to run prize promotions. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to run a global prize promotion in Italy, it just means you have to know what you’re doing.

First off, if you’re going to run a prize promotion in Italy you have to register it with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. It’s hard to imagine the equivalent ministry in the UK – I guess that’s probably the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – being the slightest bit interested in an instant win petrol station promotion we at Prizeology might be running, but in Italy it would be.

Secondly, and I appreciate this seems to contradict what I said a couple of paras previously, but under Italian law it’s illegal to include Italy in a larger global promotion. To be honest, I’m not sure what the rationale is, but the fact is that in Italy you must run a standalone promotion with its own prize pool.

That promotion can be very similar to a promotion you’re also running in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Indeed, it could even be identical to the global promotion you have going on elsewhere, but if it isn’t entirely online it must be set up as a separate entity and there can be no chance that a Frenchman, say, can end up winning an Italian’s prize.

And talking of prizes, you may not be surprised to hear that the Italians have some rules on that topic, the main one being that you can’t give away cash. I love coming up with an inventive prize that people really want to win, but cash is always popular and there are some promotions where it’s simply the right prize. Not in Italy.

Now before I’m swamped by messages pointing out that there is one notable exception to this rule, yes, there is. If you’re running an Italian prize promotion, you’re totally free to give away as much gold as you want. Coins or bars, it doesn’t matter, but it does have to be gold and silver simply will not do.

The terms and conditions for any Italian prize promotion must be in Italian. Now that doesn’t seem unreasonable, does it? If you want the great Italian public to enter your promotion they’re more likely to do so if they can access the Ts&Cs and, in fact, I usually recommend that Ts&Cs are translated for all markets, but it does depend on the structure of the promotion and sometimes translation doesn’t make sense.

If you’re running your promotion in Italy, though, it’s a legal obligation. I’m not an Italian speaker myself, but although I do know that terms and conditions is ‘termini e condizioni’ in Italian (love that), Prizeology never relies on Google Translate and we always use specialist translators.

So I’ve covered four slightly idiosyncratic aspects of running a global prize promotion in Italy. Number five initially seems the most insurmountable, because data can’t be transferred outside Italy.

Rest assured, though, there are legitimate ways to achieve this and legitimate ways to work within all the constraints on running a global promotion that includes Italy, just as long as you have the experience and international expertise, which, of course, Prizeology does!

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist.

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