Topic: Social media
Who: Bev Morley t/a @mojocomms and the ASA
When: December 2012
Law stated as at: December 2012
As readers of marketinglaw.co.uk will no doubt be aware, Twitter competitions are becoming increasingly common. Whilst a cheap and effective way of potentially engaging a wide audience, they are equally not without their potential pitfalls however..
Bev Morley ran a competition on her (now deleted) Twitter account, stating ‘@mojocomms Follow for a fab #kindle# comp giveaway!!!’. This Tweet contained the only details of the promotion. The complainant (represented by the Institute of Promotional Marketing) followed @mojocomms as requested, and Bev later tweeted to confirm that they had won. However, they did not receive the prize.
The ASA was understandably concerned that ‘no information was given in the competition tweet about the terms and conditions of the competition or where the terms and conditions could be found; for example by including a short URL.’
Rule 8.28.3 of the CAP Code also requires that promotions must specify before or at the time of entry the date by which prize winners would receive their prizes if that would be more than 30 days after the closing date. The complainant did not receive the prize within that time, and when Bev was contacted by CAP they were told it may be up to 8 months after closing that it would be sent (during which it wasn’t actually sent!).
CAP therefore unsurprisingly found that the ‘promotion had not been conducted fairly’ and breached Rules 8.2, 8.27 and 8.28.3. They equally told Bev to award the prize to the complainant and ensure future competitions were run fairly.
Why this matters:
This case raises two main issues for marketers running Twitter competitions. Firstly, ensure that you provide clear information about the T&Cs (for example referring out to a URL, or in the recent Rio Ferdinand case by spreading these across multiple tweets). Secondly, and perhaps obviously, if you offer a prize be sure to actually send it out!