Prize draw promo ban lifted in Northern Ireland

Brands will now be able to run prize draw competitions in Northern Ireland after a restriction has been lifted.

Soft drinks manufactures commonly use instant win sales promotions.

The Northern Ireland Executive is to change gambling laws, which have prohibited brands from running prize draw promotions linked to product purchase, for eight years.

Promotions affected include those popular with FMCG and soft drinks manufacturers to offer instant win codes on packaging.

Brands have ben forced to overtly exclude Northern Irish consumers from promotional activity or offer a “no purchase necessary” option to allow consumers in the region to participate.

They have been allowed in England, Scotland and Wales since the 2005 Gambling Act came into force but were considered as gambling in Northern Ireland.

The Minister for Social Development in Northern Ireland, Nelson McCausland, has said gambling laws will be “updated and improved”.

The Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) has been vocal in its opposition to the restriction and lobbied Government to make the change claiming that the ban was illegal under the European Union’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

Jeremy Stern, managing director of PromoVeritas, says: “The previous laws were outdated and cumbersome and resulted in a form of ‘promotional apartheid’. Once the new law is implemented, these complexities will be gone and the people of Northern Ireland will be able to fully participate in all and every type of promotion that we, on the mainland, have had for years.”

Latest from Marketing Week


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


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.


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.


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

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