Posts by: Robert Laplaca

What Prizes Can/Can’t Be Given Away

Some things you may not be able to give as prizes:

– Smokes (MA, MI, VA)
– Gas (NJ, VA)
– Beer (many states)
– Milk (restricted in a number of states)
– iPad (formerly)
– Yankees tickets (because they may contain a no-transfer provision)
– Puppies (most states)

(more…)

Please follow and like us:

Why Are Ad Men Called Mad Men? Is It Because They Can Get Sued?

We all know that the first ad agency was created by William Taylor in 1786 perhaps to help sell the recently invented threshing machine to those farmers sick and tired of separating

Recently, ad agencies have come under fire for a number of reasons:

Days ago, Uber sued its ad agency for fraud which involved ads placed on Breitbart News, which for some reason Uber wanted taken down.  Uber also claimed that the agency squandered tens of millions of dollars on “nonviewable” mobile ads – ads loaded on a website that had to be scrolled down to see. Let’s see how this turns out.  (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Age Doesn’t Matter Except When it Does

Marx once remarked, “Age is not a particularly interesting subject.  Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.”  Well, thanks Groucho, for that word of advice, but let’s look anyway into the importance of age in sweepstakes.

Minimum Ages

13 or older:

If the promotion is online and is directed to a child or will collect information from a child, it needs to be 13 or older, unless you want to comply with the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Sweepstakes Rules: How Much Is Too Much?

William J. Shakespeare recognized over more than 400 years ago in As You Like It that, “Excess may do you harm.”  This may still hold true today for sweepstakes and contest Official Rules.

The internet has allowed Official Rules to be as long as a lawyer’s imagination.  But don’t shoot yourself in the foot when you try to bulletproof your rules.   Boilerplate language, “take it or leave” contracts and heavy-handed, one-sided provisions could be unconscionable and unenforceable.  According to the New York Court of Appeals, “unconscionability … requires some showing of ‘an absence of meaningful choice on the part of one of the parties together with contract terms which are unreasonably favorable to the other party.’” State v. Avco Fin. Servs. of N.Y., 50 N.Y.2d 383 (1980).  Sounds like Official Rules.

Context is important. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

You Can’t Do That (Strange But True Illegal Contests)

We all know that promotions involving such things as dairy, gasoline, and cigarettes are illegal in some states, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll learn that a red flag should go off if, for instance, a sponsor wants to run a dance marathon/kissing contest next Valentine’s Day.  Below is a list of (mostly) useless, but I hope, amusing state laws restricting certain contests.

California:  No frog-jumping contests.  Calif. Fish & Game Code, §6883.  Actually, frog-jumping contests are o.k., as long as Kermit isn’t eaten if he dies during the competition.  (I’m serious.)  To be safe, I’d recommend the conservative approach and simply avoid this contest in California, because you just never know. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Vacation Sweepstakes Edition (The More You Give, The Less You May Get)

It’s summer vacation time and what better way to spend it then basking in the sun after winning that all-expense-paid prize trip.  Or is it?

Sponsors want to create buzz for their sweepstakes.  And vacation prizes over the summer months may do just that.  In my unofficial count, there are about 150 vacation sweepstakes currently running by major brands for trips to Hawaii, Lake Tahoe, Disney World, Miami, Las Vegas, NYC and even Cincinnati.  But Caveat Sponsus, awarding a dream vacation could be a nightmare.

Issues and solutions when offering vacation prizes: (more…)

Please follow and like us: