Posts Tagged: Contests

Poetry in Motion: High School Student/Immigrant Allowed to Participate in Contest Even When Excluded from Eligibility

On April 20, 2018, Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. of the US District Court of Maine issued a well-reasoned 39 page decision granting an injunction against the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from prohibiting a high school student from Zambia, seeking asylum in the US, from participating in a national poetry recital contest.  The decision in Monga v. National Endowment for the Arts, 2:18-cv-00156-JAW, USDC ME can be found online here.

First, kudos to Judge Woodcock.  He decided the case while the contest was still going on!  The case was filed April 11; briefing was completed April 17; argument was heard April 18 and a comprehensive decision was filed two days later, with just three days to spare before the national finals for the poetry recital contest.  (more…)

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How Will The General Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Sweepstakes Across the Pond

As was made pretty clear last week from the 1,400 hours of Congressional testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, the USA may want to follow the lead of the EU and adopt laws similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For now, if you are running a sweepstakes or contest open to EU residents, here are some things you need to know about the GDPR.

What is the GDPR? The GDPR is a comprehensive regulation concerning the collection and use of online personal data.

When does it come into effect? The GDPR becomes effective May 25, 2018.

Who is protected? The GDPR protects data collection from residents of the European Union. In a sweepstakes or contest, this is the entrant.

Who is covered? Any person or entity that holds or uses personal data. For a sweepstakes or contest, this could be the Sponsor or an entity collecting entry or other information from the entrants.

What is covered? Personal data, which includes anything that can be used directly or indirectly to identify a person, such as a name, photo, email or street address, posts on websites, and computer IP addresses.

What to do for Sweepstakes and Contests? (more…)

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The 2018 Most Interesting Super Contests for the Super Bowl

The noted football lover, Karl Lagerfeld, once said, “Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.”  (This coming from a man who has dressed in the same outfit for 50 years.)  This year, the marketers have thrown away the playbooks, sidestepped clear thinking and used Bill Belichik-like creativity to come up with some fun promotional contests for Super Bowl Sunday:

Get Your Hands Off My Car. Not since the days of Otto Graham have kids flocked around a car with their hands firmly planted hoping to make it into overtime and win that precious hotrod. Mercedes-Benz has updated this contest for the 21st century. (more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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