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On-pack Codes

On-pack promotions can generate great uplift, extensive consumer data as well as deep levels of customer engagement with a brand. Frequently they are run using unique alphanumeric codes printed onto or inside the product packaging and the recipient then enters this code online (or by post and text) for verification to find out whether or not they are a winner either instantly or via a later prize draw.

PromoVeritas have been verifying the safety and reputation of on-pack or codes based promotions since 2002. For every promotion there are risks – codes are valuable and can be stolen from factories or hacked into digitally, misused or simply guessed if they are insecurely generated – the opportunity for fraud is great for on-pack promotions.

Another risk promoters need to consider – breach of a patent

A German based sports marking company are the new owners of a European Patent EP0929874 that is valid in 14 European countries, - Austria, Belgium, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, UK, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The patent covers the use of codes, whether they are unique or not, whether they are printed on the pack, in the pack or issued with a product purchase (e.g. via a till receipt) that once entered by a consumer and validated results in the provision of ‘discounts, coupons or rewards’ in other words, prizes. In effect the patent covers promotions involving winning moments, prize draws, instant wins and competitions that involve a code, whether that code is specially printed on the pack, or even if it is just  the last four digits of the existing bar code or it is a Willy Wonka style ‘Golden Ticket’ inside the pack.

The new owners have been approaching major brand owners across Europe and offering them licences to allow them to use codes for promotional purposes. Refusal could lead to legal action for compensation for breaches of the patent for both past and current promotions.

Early in 2014, PromoVeritas commissioned a leading firm of patent attorneys to review the patent and found that it is completely legal and totally enforceable. So rather than just ignore the risk we decided to take a pragmatic view and approach the patent holders with a proposal that would enable brands to obtain licences with the minimum of fuss and inconvenience and at a price that would make it the most attractive option for brands. PromoVeritas are now the UK’s sole supplier of licenses and able to support brands in the simple process of ensuring that their promotions obtain all the necessary approvals. Pricing for a licence is dependent on the duration of the promotion, the number of countries involved and how many codes will be issued but starts at a few thousand pounds. To read more click here.

In addition to assisting with the licence process PromoVeritas can supply any number of unique codes, conduct integrity checks on websites and systems to ensure CAP Code compliance and handle the process of distributing the winner packs, winner verification and management. To find out more about codes based promotions contact us at

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