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PromoVeritas Project News 2012                           For General Compliance News 

February 2012

Protecting promotions from abuse !

Although a lot of brands will use competitions and prize draws to attract consumers few promoters are aware of both the financial and reputational risks that they take when running these type of activities. Brands are advised to carefully consider the integrity, logistics and structure of their planned promotions and ensure that they meet the requirements of the CAP Code (from the Advertising Standards Authority).

A recent BBC News interview with the Institute of Promotional Marketing’s Chief Executive, Annie Swift, revealed a rise in the number of ‘compers’ – those who have an almost obsessional desire to enter competitions and prize draws by fair means or foul.

The opportunity to win cash, holidays, electrical goods, car and other valuables prizes is very attractive but the average person doesn’t have the time to scroll through magazines, social media websites, supermarket aisles and packaging, answering questions and providing their personal details time after time.


Todays ‘compers’ now have an extensive range of ways of tracking down that dream holiday or brand new car. As well as ‘old style’ magazines such as Simply Prizes, there are now many websites and blog forums such as ‘Super Lucky blog spot’, ‘CompersNews’ and ‘Loquax’ that list the latest prizes on offer and invite people to enter them in the normal way.


This is all fine, and may bring more consumers to your site, but there are now commercially operated clubs that for a small subscription fee will ‘guarantee’ that a persons’ name will be entered into a hundred or so prize draws every month. They use macros and computer scripts to create fake ID’s or emails and circumvent web systems set up by the promoter. Whenever a promotion is targeted by one of these clubs, promoters can expect a surge in entries and need to be on their guard to filter out duplicate entries, fake email addresses and other breaches of the terms.

“Financially this can be devastating for a promotional campaign” claims Jeremy Stern, CEO, of PromoVeritas who advises some of the UK’s biggest brands on how to effectively run a promotional campaign, whilst complying with industry regulations.

“Of course most compers will not have broken any of the rules and will be entitled to a prize if they are lucky enough to win one, but promoters planning to use their newly expanded database for future direct marketing should be aware of their limited worth to brand sales. They rarely have any interest in the promoted brand – they are just after the prize”.

But there are some simple tools that a Promoter can use to prevent this from occurring. The easiest is to have a tight set of terms and conditions that have been reviewed or written by experts in the industry. Appropriate clauses can reduce the scope for macros and prize draw clubs bombarding your promotion with excessive entries and if combined with some simple data analysis can justify the disqualification of such entries if they are uncovered. Ensuring that the winner selection is run fairly and independently will provide an additional level of protection and integrity as will asking for proof of identity of the winner and checking their address matches with that submitted at the time of entry.

Promotions provide a valuable brand and sales building tool, but must be treated with care and respect.



Ashley Hirst

Account Manager - PromoVeritas






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