Understanding the rules around promotional brand giveaways
Are you allowed to use the lure of a designer brand to promote your own prize draw? Grid Law founder David Walker guides one reader through the process of a promotional brand giveaway that stays within the law.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your very informative article by David Walker on How to run a successful (and legal) promotional prize draw.
I have a query which I’d like to ask you regarding this.
I am thinking of running a promotional prize draw in which I give away a famous name designer handbag. The entrants must pay an entry fee and will then be judged based on their significant skill/knowledge or judgement thus preventing this prize draw from being a lottery or raffle.
What would the legal requirements be regarding naming the designer? I’d like to know whether it would be okay for me to purchase this bag as a normal customer and then give it away to the winner without informing the designer. Or do I have to inform the designer prior to this?
Thank you for your question.
There is no problem buying a designer handbag yourself and then giving it away as a prize.
However, you must be very careful when promoting the competition to ensure you don’t inadvertently infringe the designer’s trademarks.
You mustnt give any indication that they endorse the competition or are suppling the prizes (unless they are) and you mustnt, in any way, use the strength of their brand and reputation to enhance yours.
So, for example, you should avoid phrases such as Win a [name of designer] handbag? and instead say Win a designer handbag? or Win a luxury handbag.
Also, avoid using the name of the designer in any keywords when advertising the competition.
David Walker is the founder of Grid Law, a firm which first targeted the motorsport industry, advising on sponsorship deals, new contracts and building of personal brands. He has now expanded his remit to include entrepreneurs, aiding with contract law, dispute resolution and protecting and defending intellectual property rights.
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