Sweepstakes and Contest Rules
Anyone who has enters sweepstakes or contest has usually noticed a long list of rules and regulations. Some may be put off by all this legal jargon. It’s not just there to protect the companies involved in the promotion, but it is also a helpful tool for the entrant. It outlines very important features of the promotion in one neat package. Different variables of the promotion can change what needs to be outlined in your rules. Today, I have provided a list of some of the items that should be included in your sweepstakes and contest rules:
This section is important in sweepstakes and contest rules, because it outlines who can enter. This should include the geographical location where the promotion is open, i.e. 50 US states. It should also include the minimum age of entrants. Lastly, it should call out the fact that your employees, family members, etc. cannot enter or win.
This section should outline the exact start date and time and end date and time. Obviously, this is important because it tells entrants their deadline for entering.
How to Enter
This section outlines where and how people enter. Maybe it’s an online sweepstakes. In that case, the URL to the sweepstakes or contest home page will need to be provided. Also, you will need to tell entrants what you are collecting from them, i.e. name, address, phone number, etc. Here is a link to a sweepstakes home page that shows the entry process.
If you are running a sweepstakes where the entry method is on social media, you will need to explain the process for entry. Here’s an example of a Twitter and Instagram sweepstakes. In addition, this section should outline the total number of entries a person can earn during the sweepstakes entry period. Depending on the complexity of the sweepstakes or contests, this section needs to be drafted with acute attention to detail from a legal standpoint. That’s why it’s important to hire an administrator who specializes in sweepstakes law to identify any additional information that needs to be included.
This section should clearly outline when the winners will be selected and notified. This helps legitimize the process for the administrator when contacting the potential winners. The entrant can refer to the rules and see that the dates match. It also lets entrants know if they will have to wait days or weeks after a promotion to find out if they are a winner. Patience isn’t always a virtue when it comes to winning a prize, so this will inform your entrants when you will be conducting the drawing so that they have an exact date in mind.
This section outlines what prizes you are awarding and their approximate retail value (ARV). This is important because any time a prize has an ARV over $600, it will need to be reported to the IRS. Winners should have fair warning before accepting any prize where they are going to be issued a 1099.
The above is a basic list of things to think about when drafting sweepstakes or contest rules. Keep in mind, there are a lot of other items that need to be included. It is extremely important to work with an agency that knows everything that is legally required to run a promotion.
Sync Marketing’s legal team is constantly researching and staying up-to-date on all the latest legal actions and changes in the field. We also attend the most respected marketing law conferences each year. This translates into invaluable legal counsel and advice for you on all your promotions and will ensure your sweepstakes and contest rules are the most iron clad. Here is a link to some of the legal services we offer at Sync Marketing. Contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about sweepstakes and contest rules.
Sweepstakes and Contest Rules