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Four Trends in Prize Promotions on Social Media and Mobile Platforms

August 2, 2011

In my webinar last month, I identified four trends in the evolution of prize promotions on social media and mobile platforms.

Trend One: Because of the abbreviated nature of social media, we are seeing a blurring line between sweepstakes and contests. As you structure your promotions and draft rules, remember that the concept of substantial effort in the consideration continuum may need to be reevaluated continuously. Technology is pushing us places we’ve never been.  And we may see some legislative responses to the kinds of promotions that aggregate elements of sweepstakes and skill contests.

Trend Two: We’re seeing a movement away from rules and disclosures. I predict this will lead to an increase in regulatory activity. Take the time to figure out whether your promotion is legal and what you have to do to make it so. Take the time to consider how you will make disclosures. Be consistent across all your platforms. Explore third party applications and vendors that can help. But read your contracts carefully. What kind of indemnifications are they asking for with regard to the legality of your prize promotion? Who is vetting the promotion legally? Who is providing the rules?

Trend Three:  For mobile marketing, remember the opt-in must be fully explained. Marketers are becoming more and more daring in trying to communicate with consumers on mobile devices. In so doing, they may be losing sight of what clear disclosures really are. I caution those doing mobile marketing to think carefully about the nature of the opt-in and declare the intent of the program clearly from the outset in advertising materials. We will definitely see more litigation in this area. So stay tuned.

Trend Four: Finally, today’s marketer faces shifting ground with regard to privacy issues. Be proactive in making your privacy policies aligned with various social media platforms and make sure they are modernized to take into account the technological abilities for data protection. But think carefully about what PII you need in running your promotions and how you are going to secure that data. Be prepared for data leaks. Preparation requires legal and public relations management ahead of time. And definitely stay abreast of legislative developments in this area.



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