Are You A Prize Pig?

Posted on: December 3rd, 2011 by Jason 5 Comments

People who tend to enter a lot of competitions are often regarded as a “professional comper” – a media term that we think isn’t really appropriate to describe someone who just enjoys trying to win prizes as a hobby. After all, a person who spends a lot of time at train stations isn’t known as a “professional train spotter”.

However, the “professional comper” tag is a lot more politer than the term “prize pig”!

According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, a prize pig is defined as “someone who enters as many competitions as possible – sometimes seeing it as a way to make a living”. It’s not a new term by the way – just in case you’re thinking the Australian newspaper made it up! According to the Urban Dictionary, in 2007, a prize pig is “an individual who listens to sundry radio shows for the sole purpose of winning a prize offered by said radio station”.

The derogatory term aside, Sydney Morning Herald’s article highlights that the problems UK competitions have are also prevalent Down Under. Vote exchanges, automated entries, multiple email accounts, multiple Facebook accounts and swapping codes are all mentioned.

It also highlights, using Lee Jeans Australia as an example, just how unprepared brands can sometimes be when launching competitions – especially when there’s a voting element involved.

Probably joining Lee Jeans Australia in the “we weren’t expecting that” category is Airwick! They recently ran a competition to find Britain’s Most Festive Family. Initially “most clicks” would have won the £6000 prize – but Airwick listened and instead ending up judging the winner via a shortlist.

The winners were “The Nugfesters”! Since Airwick announced the winners there’s been comments on their Facebook wall regarding their choice (see comments) – including some suggesting they shouldn’t have won as they had no children. The fact there may be kids in their extended family to enjoy the prize seems to have been overlooked!

With this in mind the news that The IPM are to help Facebook clarify promotion rules (as we tweeted on 2/12) is something that perhaps can’t come along too soon! Mind you, we’re not expecting too much from this and we’re unclear why the current Facebook guidelines confuse promoters!

Anyway, perhaps once The IPM have finished their Facebook gig then they’ll then start telling promoters about the problems of automated entries? Hopefully we’ll see an article from them about this issue soon!

Somehow we think that Sydney Morning Herald’s “Prize Pigs” may fly before that happens!

Join The Conversation

  • zolakins

    Well I guess in a warped kinda way – it’s nice to know the same FB problems are down under also!!! I would hate to think them kangaroos and possums were getting a better deal than us! lol

  • Nostradamus

    1stly, where on earth did you find the time to write this blog 🙂

    in my opinion the term prize pigs should be used to describe those people that attack winners of competitions, such as the ones slating the winners of the airwick competition.

    i disagree with a fair few of the methods required to enter facebook comps, but its down to the promoter, not the entrant… more power to them.

    i also hate when winners are made to feel the need to explain themselves. whether or not the winners of airwick have extended family is really none of our business, by our i mean other comp entrants. if the entrant satisfys the terms set out by the promoter, then theres not a lot we can do, and being spiteful just gives all compers a bad name.

  • sheena444

    Prize pig? Oh dear. I don’t think anything generates as much hostility as winning a good prize these days- unless its winning on the lottery, something the winners paid to do and won due to random chance.

    Maybe we should all take up an uncontroversial hobby like gardening instead….

  • libra100

    Comping as a hobby can be lots of fun. You visit new websites and explore new concepts, searching out elusive answers to questions asked.

    It’s a shame that comping is considered in such a derogatory way by some promoters. After all, it can be a cheap form of advertising – companies post a competiton on their website, competition entrants are required to ‘like’ the relevant Facebook page and share with friends. Extra entries are allowed by following on Twitter and retweeting.

    Before you know it, the whole world is visiting the promoter’s website and they have achieved more interest for maybe the cost of an XBox or Ipad2 prize!

    Much cheaper than TV or newspaper advertising, I don’t see a problem for either promoter or comp entrant.

  • fmaclean1

    I think in many cases the promoters need to look to themselves. If you start a voting competition when you actually only want UK traffic that is interested in your product you are tempting providence. Most of us now DO have friends and family overseas…and of course if it’s a simple ‘vote’ we will ask everyone to do so…not just those in the UK or those who are target market for the product/service being promoted.

    Banning automated entries and putting on country filters is also something that is the PROMOTER’S responsibility. If they don’t set up the competition properly, well they can hardly complain if they get rubbish traffic as a result.

    As someone who has promoted comps on and off for a long time (including with organisations like My Offers), it is very much about how you set your competition up, what the prize is and how you moderate it. And if you are smart, the prize will reflect your product or service and appeal to the right audience.

    I enjoy entering competitions too. I think we all have our own personal ethics. I tend to avoid things I can’t use personally, but I know other people who DO enter and sell prizes. That’s up to them. Similarly, I know people who will never do a voting competition. I do…and sometimes I win. But I know that my mafia wars friends who vote for me are really not target market for the promoter and that’s a shame but really not my responsibility!