Judging a contest? How to run a competition that is GDPR and ASA compliant
AnswerThank you for your question. Yes, staying legal? when it comes to prize promotions can seem like a minefield but if you approach this in a logical and methodical way, it doesnt have to be. First, we have to look at the type of prize promotion you are running. This is clearly going to be a prize competition (rather than a free prize draw) as entrants are paying to enter and they must exercise significant skill, knowledge and judgement to be in with a chance of winning. If this is run as a true prize competition you should fall outside the remit of the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Commission are there to ensure that competitions such as this arent illegal lotteries. I don’t think you will have any concerns with this. The main reason why a prize competition would be considered to be an illegal lottery is if the skill element was insufficient. For example, if the competition used a multiple choice question or the answer could be easily found from a quick search on Google. Next, you have to be clear about the process of entering the competition. So, should entries be submitted via email as a pdf document or posted to you? Can entrants submit more than one design? Also, be clear about the closing date of the competition and when / how the winners will be notified. You will then have to explain your scoring criteria and explain what the judges are looking for when choosing a winner. You will want to avoid future disputes so in your competition rules it will be important to state that the judges? decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The Cap CodeThe Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA’s) Cap Code says, at section 8.26: “In competitions, if the selection of a winning entry is open to subjective interpretation, an independent judge, or a panel that includes one independent member must be appointed. In either case, the judge or panel member must be demonstrably independent, especially from the competition’s promoters and intermediaries and from the pool of entrants from which the eventual winner is picked. Those appointed to act as judges should be competent to judge the competition and their full names must be made available on request.” So, as you are the promoter of the competition, I wouldnt narrow down the entries in house. Leave this to the judges. If you really want to open the competition to entrants under the age of 18, we will need to look at the specifics of the competition and how you promote it in more detail. This is because the rules on adverts targeting children are much stricter. Also, the law relating to children entering in contracts (i.e., how they accept your competition terms and conditions) will have to be carefully considered. Read more about running a prize draw or competition:
- How GDPR could affect your promotional prize draws and competitions
- Am I legally required to offer free entry when holding a prize draw?
- Understanding the rules around promotional brand giveaways
How a UK micro business sued Nike for trademark infringement and won After a small company spotted Nike had launched a new slogan close to its own, the business successfully sued the sportswear giant for trademark infringement. __________________________________________________________________________________