Confusion over sales promotion

Your cover story on sales promotions legalities, “Ill-gotten games” (MW May 24), confirms the bewilderment of the interpreters of the Lotteries Acts, codes of practice and case histories when dealing with the sometimes arcane workings of promotional techniques.

The authors of the article themselves also seem to be confused. They say: “For a promotion to be legal it must be possible to enter it without making a purchase,” and “some brand owners even charge consumers to enter competitions.” These two statements prove that the writers do not know the difference between a competition and a free prize draw. The first can and does demand a purchase. The second cannot.

They also say that scratchcards are competitions. Again, they are confused. The majority of scratchcards provide an instant result, which is based on chance alone. A purchase cannot be demanded.

The details of the regulations are contained in a line or two in an act that deals primarily with gaming. It does not mention scratchcards, instant wins, tie-breakers or no-purchase routes.

The ASA/ISP (voluntary) Code of Practice goes someway to clarify things. The Royal Mail/Disney scratchcard was not illegal. The free entry route was not printed on the scratchcard itself, but was clearly printed on all POS material.

However, one thing should not be left to chance. The Lotteries Act has to be brought up to date – now. Otherwise, the Brussels bureaucrats will force us to take the fun out of promotional marketing, as they have all over Europe.

Michael Bartman

Michael Bartman Promotional Marketing

Bushey

Herts

The context of the article makes it clear that the promotion referred to was a scratchcard promotion, ie a game of chance. The implication of journalistic ignorance is therefore misguided – Editor.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here