Can family participate in your promotions?
Last week the ASA ruled that a prize draw that was won by a distant relative of an employee of the Promoter was fair and compliant with the CAP Code. Is there a need to look at how we define who is eligible to enter and who is not.
Back in August car dealership Hendy ran a Facebook promotion giving away a brand-new Ford Fiesta. The promotion’s T&Cs included the typical clause “…open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over, other than Hendy employees, their families and anyone else professionally associated with the prize draw…”. The winner was selected independently and randomly as required by the CAP Code, verified and then tagged in a Facebook post. But concerns were expressed that the winner was a close family member of an employee and was therefore potentially ineligible to win. The Hendy Group investigated and found out that the winner was married to a cousin of an employee – but according to the company’s policy for awarding discounts on cars to family members, this relationship was a distant one, and so they need not be excluded from entering, or winning the promotion.
Here at PromoVeritas when we contact a lucky winner we do verify their status by confirming their name, age and residence. We also ask them to confirm if they work for or are related to employees of the promoter brand. But its impractical to expect everyone to know who their second cousin twice removed works for, and if they do not, then how can we be expected to enforce the terms of the promotion. The ‘no families ‘clause in terms & conditions is worse than meaningful, it is setting the Promoter and ourselves up to fail !
Our view is that the aim of the ‘no families’ clause was to limit the possibility of bias in the winner selection. But if that winner selection is done completely separate to the Promoter, and by an independent service such as PromoVeritas who can guarantee fair and random results without the risk of employees tampering with entry lists or selecting their nearest and dearest, then there is no harm in allowing family members to enter. In fact, we believe that T&Cs should not seek to exclude family members of any level. The only exclusion should be ‘…..those professionally connected to the promotion’ such as the marketing team working on the project or their agencies.
Our total commitment to ensuring that all the promotions we run are compliant, safe and fair to enter means that we are happy for family members to enter, and if they win, we can with confidence state that is was indeed the luck of the draw, and not through any dishonesty or bad practice. In this way we believe we are simplifying the world of promotions even further, and making it safer.
For help and advice on running safe and successful promotions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 203 325 6000.