Run a Legal Giveaway

Posted by Jennifer Hibbs on September 30, 2016 in Articles, Compliance, Consultation, Contests, Legal, Promotion Planning, Social Media, Sweepstakes | 18 Comments

18 Responses to Run a Legal Giveaway

  1. Clara says:

    hello! I won a giveaway that was supposed to hold a 50 dollar gift card but I never got my prize. I offered to lower it down to 10 dollars (and they accepted) however I still haven’t gotten my prize because “they need to wait for their pay day”. I was wondering if any of this is legal at all amd if I never get my prize that I can take action. I would very much appreciate it!!

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      You could consult an attorney about taking legal action. However, since it sounds like they don’t have the funds to get you a $50 or even a $10 prize, I am not sure what you would hope to gain by taking legal action.

  2. I am interested in playing a game on social media that is limited to the people in my friends list. My profile is not public and the give away is only to those people in my friends list. The prize is less than $10 and there is no purchase required. We are playing a game and the winner gets some samples of a product that they could not otherwise get without purchasing them. Anyone in my friends list is welcome to play. What should I know about doing this?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      Legally you should still have Official Rules that define the game. Contact us or another promotion marketing vendor for your specific case.

  3. Ben Williams says:

    Is it legal to do a “Every 10th order free” promotion? Is that still considered a sweepstakes?

  4. Vincent Xavier says:

    So I got this gift card for a store I don’t plan to go to. But I don’t want it to go to waste, I heard I could hold a fan page and giveaway that card to someone selected at random. But then I came across this legal stuff and was wondering if what I plan to do is legal?

    The card is worth $100 to a digital store.

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      As you know from reading our post, there is some level of risk involved if you run a giveaway without checking the legal restrictions in your country/state. Be sure to weigh the risk before you proceed.

  5. Doug long says:

    So as long as there is one method of free entry. I can then sell entries through merchandise?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      Not exactly. There must be equal chance to earn as many free entries as purchase entries. So if someone can purchase a million dollars worth of merchandise to earn a million entries, you must also give people the chance to earn a million free entries.

  6. Mike Daniel says:

    Is it legal for someone to promote a giveaway and then not give anything away? What if the winner of the giveaway asks to remain anonymous? In that case, how would anyone prove that the merch was actually given away?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      You would have to consult the official rules of any giveaway that lets a prize go unawarded. There may be language in the rules that explains the conditions when a prize is not awarded, such as if the giveaway is cancelled or the prize becomes unavailable. And typically, prizes aren’t awarded to a winner who won’t at least allow their first name and first initial of the last name and perhaps a city may be included in a winner posting. These are reasons why full official rules are necessary to cover the sponsor of the giveaway to cover these contingencies.

  7. Charlie says:

    Is it legal for someone to hold a free gift card giveaway on YouTube and not give out any prizes?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      It all depends on what their official rules say. Sometimes there is language in rules that covers the unforeseen cancellation of the program for various reasons. Always check the rules.

  8. Jen Heath says:

    Is it possible to provide a token gift to anyone that buys anything from me online. I have a crap load of old marketing things, stickers, key rings, tee shirts, etc that I would like to provide randomly to anyone that orders something online. I don’t want to advertise they have to buy something, just send out a link with the digital receipt with instructions on how to retrieve one of a few different items. Since this would not be something that would be “won” are there rules about including a free random item with an order?

  9. Ashley Henkel says:

    Hello!!! I’ve been doing international giveaways on my twitter account. The highest prize has been 350$ and I always state the rules of the giveaway in the first tweet. I’ve read this blog and it’s links but I just wanted a second opinion. Nobody ever pays to enter my giveaways and the way they enter is by retweeting and commenting on the post. Is this okay?

    • Jennifer Hibbs says:

      The short answer is no. Running an international sweepstakes is problematic as sweepstakes laws are different in every country and some countries do not allow sweepstakes. Furthermore, a good set of official rules that covers you in case of a legal dispute are going to be longer than can fit in one tweet. You have to decide if you are willing to take the risk. If you want to make your giveaway more legal, consult a promotional marketing attorney, or a promotional marketing firm (like us!) to help you come up with something more official.

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