No Purchase Necessary

Friel, Alan L.
March 2008
Marketing Management;Mar/Apr2008, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p48
The article discusses how contests presented as part of marketing campaigns and sales promotions can lead to legal difficulties. Contests are subject to many federal and state regulations and can lead to class-action lawsuits. The author differentiates between sweepstakes, contests and lotteries. Lotteries may be prohibited by gambling laws. Sweepstakes must not include entry requirements that qualify as consideration such as the purchase of a product or additional fees. The author suggests sweepstakes be designed to use alternative methods of entry (AMEs). Contests do not involve the element of chance and may use Internet voting to decide winners. A class-action suit was filed against television network National Broadcasting Company (NBC) regarding a promotion using text messaging.


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