Trade promotions, also known as competitions, sweepstakes,
contests or giveaways, are an increasingly popular way to promote
goods and services to consumers. A trade promotion typically falls
into one of two categories:
a game of skill, in which skill is used to determine the
winner/s. For example, requiring each entrant to "describe
your dream holiday in 25 words or less". The entrant that
submits the most creative response wins; or
a game of chance, in which winners are determined by chance
(for example, a draw).
Each promotion must be conducted in accordance with the law in
each State and Territory in which it is being conducted, that is,
those jurisdictions whose residents can enter the trade
Other areas of Australian law, for example, consumer protection
law and advertising law (including applicable advertising codes),
will also apply to the trade promotion, irrespective of whether the
trade promotion is chance or skill based.
There are numerous issues which must be taken into account when
planning a trade promotion.
Failure to address these issues can lead to, for example:
lengthy delays and correspondence with gambling regulators
prior to the issue of a permit for the promotion;
enforcement action as a result of breach of prohibitions in
applicable trade promotions legislation;
unwanted attention from consumer protection authorities;
where the Promoter is relying on a third party in respect of
any aspect of the trade promotion, for example, a prize supplier or
a social media platform, damage to the relationship between the
Promoter and this third party; and
from a PR perspective, damage to the reputation and image of
the Promoter, and more importantly, the Promoter's brand.
Checklist for Promoters
Whilst trade promotions may appear to be a simple and highly
cost effective way of promoting goods/services, Promoters should be
aware of all the legal issues which may arise and should apply the
same high level of diligence as they would apply when undertaking
any other material marketing/advertising activities to ensure
compliance with the law.
To assist Promoters, we have prepared a checklist to assist in
identifying and addressing these issues. For a copy, please contact
one of Addisons' Media and Gaming Team.
The assistance of Jessica Azzi, Solicitor, of Addisons in
the preparation of this article is noted and greatly
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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