By April 26, 2012on
To cheer you all up because it hasn’t stopped raining for days, we’re offering one person the chance to win a £25 Amazon Voucher. Aren’t we nice!
For entry details just follow the instructions below. You’ve got until 12.01 (EST) on 3rd May 2012 to enter. Full terms and conditions are on Rafflecopter.
By April 15, 2012on
If you are running a prize draw you’ve probably already decided who will pick the winning entry. Perhaps the job will fall to someone that works within your business? Maybe you’re a blogger and there’s no one to ask, so you’re doing it yourself? Or maybe you’ve enlisted your mum? Quite probably you have also considered on what basis you are going to select your winner – the ‘best’ tweet or the most eye-catching email address, or perhaps you’ll look for a person who lives nearby so that delivery of the item is easy and inexpensive. Maybe you’re even planning to ignore a whole section of entrants who you feel comp ‘professionally’.
Unfortunately we’ve seen this approach too many times, and it does not comply with the CAP code and IPM best practise guidelines. The CAP Code states ‘Promoters of prize draws must ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and, unless winners are selected by a computer process that produces verifiably random results, by an independent person, or under the supervision of an independent person’.
We’ve heard all manner of excuses from promoters as to why they don’t need to use an independent source or verifiable computer process, ‘it’s not a serious prize draw’ and ‘it’s not a very high value prize’ or ‘I’m just a blogger so it doesn’t apply to me’. Some businesses are simply unaware of this requirement altogether.
Fact is, if you are hosting a prize promotion, it must comply with the CAP code. It matters not if you’re a micro business and the pool of entrants is a bit on the teeny tiny side. A draw has to be conducted appropriately. If entrants take the time to interact with your promotion, then you, as the promoter, must run the draw fairly and ensure everyone has an equal chance of winning. All promotions, big or small are devised to create excitement around a brand or product, so stating ‘it’s only a bit fun’ is not an excuse to flout the code.
Prize promotion entrants can be a vocal bunch, and, quite rightly, don’t appreciate it when a draw is conducted in an unfair manner. And don’t think you won’t get found out either! Every week we are sent numerous Twitter and Facebook examples where promoters have clearly awarded a prize on a basis which suits themselves. And who can forget the Blue Peter fiasco? Don’t open yourself (or a client) to public outcry and criticism. It only takes one person to complain to the Advertising Standard Authority and you could be expected to fund additional prizes, pay a fine or face a social media and PR nightmare. Can you imagine a potential customer googling your brand instead to be taken directly to the ASA site with details of the breach? Persistently flout the code and this is exactly what will happen. We don’t make this stuff up!
Call us biased, but we know that running a prize draw IS fun and it IS a brilliant way to create excitement and positive discussions around your brand on- and offline. It’s a great way to engage old and new customers. Have your winners properly selected and you’ll see how satisfying it can be. Pick them because they’re your mates, and it might end up being the last promotion you ever want to see …
Is this how you do your draw?
By April 2, 2012on
Recently we asked the people of Twitter what product they would most like to win. The response was unanimous – an iPad. Equally, the one product used predominantly as a prize incentive at the moment, not only on Twitter but in other digital space too, is an iPad. Promoters are well-tuned into the public’s continuing desire for Apple’s latest product and how it can be used to generate a good response to promotions. But are promoters actually allowed to offer an iPad as a prize?
The answer is, no. Well, not if you ask Apple. It’s old news that Apple does not give permission for anyone to give away its latest iPad and iPhone models and that it will enforce this rule. In the first instance Apple will not sell these products if the sole purpose is a prize promotion and anyone who buys a quantity of units is likely to raise suspicion at Apple HQ and will be denied further purchasing rights.
Protecting the exclusiveness of a brand is fair play, but we would argue that once you’ve paid for a product it’s yours to do with as you will, as long as you don’t imply the brand is actually endorsing the giveaway or break any laws. However, we do believe that it is for these very reasons you should proceed with caution before going ahead with an Apple product giveaway.
For those products which Apple does permit third-party promotional activity, a set of detailed instructions is available as to how these promotions can or cannot look. Like all big companies, Apple controls the way its brand image is used, which is absolutely their prerogative. If your product giveaway is authorised, you can use the Apple logo and make reference to the product in its entirety. If your giveaway is not authorised, you can’t use anything which has been Trademark protected – such as the Apple logo or the word iPad. We’re not lawyers and neither do we claim to be experts in this area, and it’s quite possible we’ve oversimplified the matter, but making your promotion look as though it has been enforced by Apple, or using their icons without permission would breach The Trade Marks Act 1994. It is via this route that Apple could enforce its rule and promoters could find themselves in trouble.
Apple has been known to sue on grounds of breach of trademark but we do not know if it is actively pursuing misuse under these circumstances. We do know though that every day there are a huge number of promotions offering much coveted Apple products as prizes and all promoters should be aware of The Trade Marks Act 1994 before deciding whether or not to offer one as a prize.
We’d love to know what you think, especially if you’re giving away an iPad or iPhone. And we’d be keen on feedback from anyone better qualified to comment on trademark laws – are we right?
- Competition management, competition rules, competition terms and conditions, compliance, prize draw rules