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!