One of the most frustrating things about competitions is when we don’t hear who won. Unfortunately there are lots of scam prize promotions around, in particular on Facebook, and it’s not surprising that we're suspicious if a company refuses to name the winner of their latest comp. On Facebook they may post to tell us the winner ‘has been informed’ but that’s just not good enough - we deserve transparency and public accountability.
Essentially, we need to know that the prize has indeed been won, and ideally that the winner is a real person! Best of all, is when we can actually see a photo of the winner with their prize - it’s amazing that so few companies actually want to involve their winner in publicity. Most compers aren’t aware that in the UK, promoters MUST tell you who won their competition or prize draw.
All UK advertisers, agencies and media must comply with the CAP Code (Committee of Advertising Practice) - the Code is enforced by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) who can remove or amend advertisements (and competitions) that breach these rules.
In the Sales Promotions section of the CAP Code, section 8.28.5 states:
...Promoters must either publish or make available on request the name and county of major prizewinners and, if applicable, their winning entries. Prizewinners must not be compromised by the publication of excessive personal information
So, if a promoter refuses to tell you who their competition or prize draw winner was, point them in the direction of the CAP Code (or this PrizeFinder blog post) and let them know that they could get an ASA ruling against them if they refuse. They don’t have to make the name(s) public (so it doesn’t HAVE to be a Facebook post!), but if you send a personal request for major prizewinners’ names via post, telephone, email or Facebook message they must tell you the information.
The ASA recently ruled against Superdrug after they refused to give out winners’ full names on request - see the details at asa.org.uk. Superdrug claimed that to publish the winners’ full names would be a breach of the Data Protection Act - but the ASA ruled that by entering the competition in the first place, the winners were consenting to making their names available.
Are there any promoters you’ll be giving a nudge after reading this?