Why Random Number Generators do NOT make you Compliant
Marketers are not always aware of how complicated laws and regulations around running promotions can be. All too often we are met with the dreaded phrase, “Because we use a random number generator to do our prize draws, it makes our prize draw fair.’ Sounds obvious in theory but in practice it is not just about pressing buttons on a computer programme.
Clause 8.24 of the CAP Code, the rulebook that the Advertising Standards Authority enforces, relates to prize draws and states the following:
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.
Our legal team’s interpretation of this is that a standalone random number generator alone does not constitute a tamper proof ‘process’ and is still wide open to abuse. The computer programme may randomly select the winners but what happens once they are picked is not audited or logged and as such is open to abuse – for instance you may decide to ‘randomise’ three or four times or even more until the person you want finally ‘wins).
Every step of our prize draw process is logged, and double checked by our team so that we can provide a full audit trail of the entire process should the ASA request this. This includes time and date stamps at every stage and logs of which staff member handled the data and managed the prize draw.