Sweepstakes promotions are great promotional tools which serve to engage consumers and attract new ones. When advertising sweepstakes on social media, businesses must be careful to abide by each respective social media platform’s distinct promotional contest rules, policies and guidelines. By way of example, in this blog we highlight the rules that sweepstakes operators must follow when creating and advertising Facebook sweepstakes promotions.
What are Facebook’s sweepstakes policies?
Facebook Sweepstakes Policies
In addition to adhering to all applicable state and federal sweepstakes and marketing laws, sweepstakes operators must also comply with Facebook’s sweepstakes policies. Facebook is constantly revising its prize promotion policies. Therefore, businesses must review Facebook’s guidelines prior to creating any new promotion that will be marketed on the platform. A couple of the requirements that Facebook consistently has in place for sweepstakes that are advertised on its platform include: 1) the requirement that each entrant/participant release Facebook from any and all liability as a condition of entry; and 2) acknowledgement in the contest rules and sweepstakes disclaimer that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Presently, Facebook’s sweepstakes policy instructs sweepstakes operators to prohibit entrants from disclosing that they have entered the applicable contests through personal timelines and friend connections. For example, language such as “share on your friend’s timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted. In addition, promotions may only be administered on Facebook business pages, groups, events, or within apps.
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FTC Marketing Guidelines
The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) product endorsement and testimonial guidelines make clear that whenever there exists any manner of financial, employment, personal or family relationship between a business and one of its influencers, a conspicuous disclosure needs to accompany any promotional social media post/video/photo in simple and clear language. To accomplish this, influencers should use simple explanations, such as “thanks to Acme brand for the free product,” or terms such as “advertisement,” “ad” and “sponsored” in their contest-related promotional media. Please note that, the FTC does not consider abbreviations, such as “sp,” “spon” or “collab,” or stand-alone terms, such as “thanks” or “ambassador,” to be appropriate endorsement disclosures.
The FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising are a must use resource to reference when engaging influencers/advertisers to promote Facebook sweepstakes. In addition, as always, it is highly recommended that businesses work closely with knowledgeable counsel before launching any sweepstakes promotions that are featured on social media.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, or if you need assistance with setting up a sweepstakes promotion, please email us at email@example.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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