The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is underway, and companies and organizations around the world are analyzing its effects on how they collect, use, store and disclose data. U.S.-based sponsors of sweepstakes, contests, instant win games and other promotions opening entry to or targeting Europeans need to be mindful of the GDPR rules … Continue Reading
In June, we covered Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) operators’ major legislative victory in New York: a bill legalizing and regulating their business, ending the potential for an outright prohibition on DFS in the state. That bill’s passage was akin to clinching the pennant. With the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) announcing yesterday that it settled … Continue Reading
Last week, Pinterest updated its Acceptable Use Policy, which governs its policies for conducting a contest and sweepstakes. Pinterest policy previously: Prohibited brands from running a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like, or follow represents an entry; Prohibited brands from requiring entrants to Pin from a selection; or Prohibited brands from requiring a minimum number … Continue Reading
It’s not every day that one gets to observe a non-U.S. jurisdiction abandoning frustrating, idiosyncratic requirements on sweepstakes promotions, but – sacré bleu! – we’ve got one to report. For several years, international marketers have listed France among the jurisdictions included in their international sweepstakes and chance-based promotional games by conforming to certain unique French … Continue Reading
On May 1, 2015, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released a set of amended Sales Promotional Rules contained in Section 8 of the CAP Code. This follows a public consultation aimed at amending a number of rules to bring them up to date with the current consumer protection landscape. For a list of key … Continue Reading
The power of user-generated content (“UGC”) as a promotional tool is ubiquitous and well understood; however, global marketers face challenges when trying to approach a campaign from an international perspective. A recent development concerning UGC contests in Italy has caught the attention of global marketers. A UGC contest usually involves a promotional prize event where … Continue Reading
A recent Facebook Platform Policy change may affect the way many promotions are run on Facebook. The change, effective November 5, 2014, prohibits Facebook Page owners from requiring a user to "like" their Page in order to access content, such as entry into a contest or sweepstakes, via a Facebook application ("App"). Advertisers often use this technique, known as "like-gating," as a way to increase the amount of likes their Pages receive.
Facebook believes that a prohibition on like-gating will benefit both advertisers and consumers. In announcing the change, Facebook stated in a blog post: "[T]o ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives."
A like can be valuable to an advertiser, regardless of whether it is generated organically or artificially. When a user likes a Facebook Page, the like may appear on the user's Timeline, stories from the Page may show up on the user's news feeds, and users may also appear in advertisements for that Page.… Continue Reading
We wanted to share the following best practice tip with our readers who conduct sweepstakes, contests, and other prize-based promotions: When conducting such promotions, we always recommend that our clients have the potential winners execute and return a set of verification documents before confirming them as winners. Generally, this involves having the winner sign an affidavit and release form confirming their eligibility, compliance with the official rules of the promotion, and releasing the sponsor (and their agencies and parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates) from any liability that may arise in connection with the promotion. In addition, if you need to conduct a background check on the potential winners before issuing a prize to them, you should have them complete a form authorizing you (and/or your agencies) to do so prior to obtaining any consumer reports from a consumer reporting agency. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumer reporting agencies may only issue consumer reports with a consumer's consent, or for one of the other delineated permissible purposes. Obtaining a properly executed authorization will not only allow you to conduct your background check more seamlessly, but it will also help to reduce the risk in playing part to a potential FCRA violation, which can result in high statutory penalties.… Continue Reading
The FDA recently issued a warning to a Swiss drug company for failing to include on its Facebook page a product's risk information and limitations. Although this type of enforcement activity involving drugmaker conduct on social media has been rather uncommon, it is a stern reminder for companies that the FDA is monitoring activity, and that its marketing and advertising rules apply to product promotion over social media networks as well. For additional information on this story, read the latest post on our firm's Life Sciences Legal Update blog.… Continue Reading
We invite you to participate in a webinar hosted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) along with Timothy J. Nagle and Christine Nielsen Czuprynski of Reed Smith's Data Security, Privacy & Management Group, titled Navigating the TCPA Minefield, on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 1 p.m. EST. The session will provide participants a valuable update on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and what marketers need to know when distributing text message promotions.
Among the topics that will be discussed are:
- The current state of the TCPA
- Recommendations for conducting compliant text messaging campaigns
- Best practices for avoiding class action scrutiny
This session is part of a new webinar series hosted by the ANA's Government Relations group, focusing on current legal and regulatory issues affecting the marketing and advertising community. For additional information, visit the ANA Webinars page at http://www.ana.net/webinars/index.… Continue Reading
In an effort to make administration of promotions on Facebook easier, the social media site released new rules permitting Facebook Page owners to host promotions and giveaways on their Page timelines. While hosting a promotion on a Page timeline is certainly more convenient and likely more cost effective for businesses from an administration standpoint, it does have disadvantages that businesses should keep in mind, such as the inability to require users to agree to Official Rules of the promotion and the inability to collect personal data about participants.… Continue Reading
Last week, Facebook announced some good news for businesses that use the social networking site to administer competitions, sweepstakes and other promotions. Under Facebook’s previous terms and conditions for Pages, the Facebook pages created and driven by "bands, businesses, restaurants, brands and celebrities" to connect with fans and customers, businesses were only able to make … Continue Reading
MISTAKE NO. 1. Taking Your Eye Off the Mark. Too often, brand names and trademarks are misused in the quest for creativity. Self Defense: In the end, it’s all in the name – the brand and trademark of the promoter. With the name and reputation of the promoter at stake, proper appreciation of the promoter’s … Continue Reading
There is a fine line between a lawful promotion and illegal gambling. Sweepstakes are legal, while private lotteries are not. Paying entry fees for a skill contest can be legal (depending on the circumstances), while placing bets is generally not. So it is with great interest that we follow gambling laws - of both the federal and state variety - throughout the country (and internationally as well).… Continue Reading
Facebook revised its promotion rules for sweepstakes and contests on the premier social networking site. These revised terms went into effect May 11, 2011. Communication About a Promotion Still OK Although the revised promotion guidelines define “communication” broadly, they do not add any new restrictions in this regard. Thus, as it was before, one may advertise on … Continue Reading
Advertisers have been given the green light to continue to use the name of products they give away as prizes in promotions, without needing the permission of the brand/product owner, following a recent controversial adjudication by the ASA. The ASA disagreed and found in favour of Bodyform in all respects. Clauses 7.1 (Truthfulness),14.7 (Testimonials and … Continue Reading
Luis G. Rivera Marín, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO), this week announced the enactment of the country’s revised Sweepstakes and Games of Chance Regulation, effective Nov. 27, 2009. The new rules remove legal barriers that previously forced advertisers and other promoters to void sales promotions in Puerto Rico … Continue Reading