Posts Tagged: Sweepstakes

Win Tickets to Opening Day, But How Do I Get There?

Today (March 29th) is baseball’s opening day – the earliest opening day in history.  If you’re going to the Yankees’ opener in Toronto, wear your ski caps it’s going to be 9 degrees Celsius – which sounds cold.

I bring up baseball because I noticed on mlb.com that there are sweepstakes that have been running for the opportunity to win tickets to different opening day games.  Note: tickets only.  As stated in the Official Rules: “TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM THE GAME AND LODGING NOT INCLUDED.”  Eligibility: Legal U.S. and Canadian residents (of course, excluding Quebec), 18 or older. (more…)

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2017: The Stories that Weren’t, Taken from the Tales of the Twilight Zone

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”  Rod Serling.

Sweepstakes prizes, lottery scams, influencer marking and excessive branding were popular themes throughout 2017.  Let’s take a look back in “the dimension of imagination” to illustrate how promotions (can) influence our lives. (more…)

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The Bare Minimum (Big Suggestions For Little Promotions)

Client:             Do we need Official Rules for our sweepstakes?

Attorney:         Yes.

Client:             But we’re only running a one-day sweepstakes giving away a one-way bus ticket to Cleveland.

Attorney:         Sorry.

Client:             But we’re no Goliath.

In the sweepstakes world size doesn’t always matter.  (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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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…)

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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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