2018 brought us the type of lawsuits you would expect in the world of sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. From “The Annoyance Lawyer” to Bobbleheads to “You’re Probably Never Going to Be A Winner.” The most depressing thing is the lawsuits themselves, often filled with either corrupt sponsors or litigious plaintiffs. But if you read far enough, you might just learn a few takeaways to help you or your client stay out of court (or find some arguments to get the case dismissed). Enjoy. (more…)
Posts Tagged: Official Rules
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…)
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…)
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…)
We’re starting off the year packing heat. On New Year’s Day, the Jeopardy judges exercised their discretion to bump off a contestant who thought he was in the pink.
Answer (it’s Jeopardy): “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton Classic.”
Response: “What is Gangster’s Paradise Lost.”
Judges: Nope, incorrect – The correct answer is “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost.”
According to the Jeopardy website, the decision was made because “It turns out that ‘gangsta’ and ‘gangster’ are both listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition.” (more…)
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…)