Winners’ lists – CAP code update

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It’s been some time coming. Prompted by GDPR coming into force there was an initial consultation on changes to the CAP Code concerning the collection and use of data for marketing, which ended in June 2018. This resulted in a number of rules being updated. Then there was a second consultation on two areas not covered by the first consultation – one of which is crucial for anyone working in prize promotions – and this closed in December 2018.

To be honest, as specialists in promotional compliance, at Prizeology we’ve spent the last few months edging along a tightrope without a safety net below. As I’ve said before, it’s been very tricky. The ASA effectively suspended a rule and we’ve been waiting for it to be reinstated, but now, finally, it has announced that there has been an amendment to the rule on winners’ lists.

The previous rule stated promoters must publish or make available on request the full name and county of all major prize-winners. The new rule states that promoters must either publish or make available information which indicates that a valid award has taken place – in other words, that the prizes in a particular promotion were actually awarded. It says that this would ordinarily be the surname and county of the major prize-winners, so whereas promoters used to have to provide the full names of winners, only their surnames are now required.

However, there’s more. Promoters must now inform entrants at or before the time of entry that they intend to publish winners’ details. They must also give entrants the opportunity to object to the publication of this information or to negotiate what exactly is published. So that means squeezing more information into terms and conditions. Lucky that at Prizeology we’re so good at the contortions required to produce compliant Ts&Cs then!

So, for the record, the CAP Code rule that’s changed is 8.28.5, and this is what it now says: “Promoters must either publish or make available information that indicates that a valid award took place – ordinarily the surname and county of major prize-winners and, if applicable, their winning entries. At or before the time of entry, promoters must inform entrants of their intention to publish or make available the information and give them the opportunity to object to their information being published or made available, or to reduce the amount of information published or made available.”

There are a couple of exceptions to the rule, though. One is where there is a legal requirement not to publish winners’ surnames and counties, for example in relation to National Savings, and the other is where the ASA asks a promoter to provide the information. If that happens, promoters must co-operate.

So why am I concerned about winners’ lists? Surely no one ever actually requests them. Well, in fact we get frequent requests for them, mainly from our friends in the comping community. Yes, they’re an administrative hoop that promoters have to jump through, but they are important for transparency, for demonstrating that a promotion has been conducted fairly and that real winners have won real prizes. I’m therefore very glad CAP has provided clarity on this issue and at last we’re out of the winners’ lists limbo.

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist.

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