NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> contests

Re: ONLINE-ADS>> contests

Nick Jones (
Wed, 14 May 1997 08:25:11 -0400 (EDT)

Virginia Lawrence <> wrote:

>" I have a client who is
>introducing a new communications product. He wants to encourage every
>site visitor to register to receive future information. The carrot will
>be one rather cool communications product ($200 value) given to one
>registrant every week. Do our more legal-minded list members know
>whether this would be considered a lottery even though visitors are not
>paying money to join in the drawing?
>An alternative idea would allows every person who registers to print out
>a $30 discount coupon for the product. Not as enticing to visitors but
>perhaps more legally straightforward.
>Would we be opening ourselves up to legal complications with a free

In response:


I would definitely recommend that you run your promotion by a lawyer.

In the Fall of 1996 I organized an online stock market challenge which
included merchandise 2ndary prizes (e.g. a set of coffee mugs worth $40, a
bag worth $45, etc.). Although I did not initially think that their value
was an issue, my lawyer quickly pointed out to me the danger of not clearly
defining the value and number of prizes that were to be given out.
Apparently, if a contest and its prizes are not clearly outlined in a
detailed set of rules, malicious individuals can take you to task in the
court system and potentially "clean you clock".

For example, what happens if the weekly winner never comes forward to
accept the prize. Will you redraw? Will the prize be forfeit?

Finally, keep in mind that if your contest is open to individuals in
different states or provinces (or countries), different 'lottery laws' may
apply. In Canada, for example, Quebec has its own unique and quite strict
public contest/lottery regulations.

Nick Jones
Nick Jones

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