PromoVeritas Claim The Rise of The Professional Comper!

Posted on: March 6th, 2011 by Jason 18 Comments

Promoveritas have put out an interesting PR article this weekend entitled “Money for nothing – the rise of the ‘professional comper’ represents a new threat to marketing promotions, warns PromoVeritas“. It tells brands that this new breed of professional entrants “threatens to affect tens of thousands of marketing campaigns unless action is taken now by promoters”.

According to Promoveritas:

Professional compers make on average at least 100 entries a week and will often have 10- 20 mobile SIM cards to make it easier to enter multiple times for ‘Text To Win’ type promotions. They also operate in syndicates, sharing entry forms, group buying promotional packs and tokens.

Firstly, the term professional comper is something we’ve never liked. It’s a media term that is at best demeaning and at worst confusing. Some people do well at comping, but most people see comping as a hobby. A trainspotter who goes out every day to watch trains isn’t a professional, so why is someone who enjoys comping daily a “professional”? It’s a horrible term – and Promoveritas don’t help the comper’s cause by using it.

Secondly, following a quick forum poll when a similar comment appeared in The Telegraph, 85% had 0 to 2 mobiles. Only 5 out of 281 people claimed to have more than 20 handsets.

The average number of entries is a misnomer too. There are 100s of competitions for people to enter so it’s not really a surprise that someone who regularly enters competitions can quickly amass lots of entries. Twitter and Facebook have just added to those stats.

People sharing entry forms or operating as a group is also nothing new – comping clubs have been around for years. In fact there’s very little new in the whole article. A lot of brands know about compers, a few even know about Loquax too.

Whilst encouraging brands/promoters to run better promotions is a good thing, it’s not the people entering the competitions who should be pulled up. Promotions fail because of the type of promotion – not the people who enter or where they enter from.

Promoters need to be educated about compers, how they can be used to benefit their brand and how their competition mechanics can be improved.

Automated Entry Services

Disappointingly PromoVeritas don’t even mention automated entry services that are causing website owners many issues. Just the week we’ve advised two companies on actions they can take to make sure people who are paying to enter prize draws, and not interacting with their brand, don’t win.

One part of the PromoVeritas PR article suggests too much comping can be akin to a gambling addiction. That’s possibly fair comment but then some “competitions” are essentially gambling. Back in June 2009 we blogged about the Magnum Competition and suggested then it was simply a case of entrants trying to “beat the bank”.

What Loquax Tries To Do!

Our aim with Loquax has always been to work for both promoters and for compers. We know what it takes to run competitions and run a website – so we don’t give out answers (on the main site listings), offer advice to siteowners via a competition guide and try and get a fair balance for all involved.

Compers come from different walks of life and have different reasons for wanting to win. Loquax can’t force anyone to do anything but we do advise users to enter for what they want to win, try and treat it as a bit of fun and to support the sites running competitions (Getting Started with Loquax).

There’s no point us encouraging our users to destroy the value of marketing promotions as reported by Brandrepublic.com either. No doubt there will be people who try and cheat (or bend the rules) and there will be syndicates, code swapping and what have you – but it’s the fault of the brands for allowing it to happen in the first place.

Compers, like those who frequent our community here at Loquax, may not be every brand’s cup of tea, but they’re computer savvy, open to offers and money saving and if used properly can be perfect in today’s social media world (e.g. Facebook & Twitter)?

Many also want to genuinely win the prizes on offer!

We’re more than happy to offer advice to any brand, promoter or siteowner about competitions. So do feel free to get in touch.

And Finally…

Of course the article is intended solely as a marketing exercise for PromoVeritas – they want to sensationalise comping so that brands consider using their services.

If PromoVeritas can sort things out so that promotions are run better (and perhaps even talk to Loquax and our users or even MSE compers too?) then that’s good news.

But we’d like to see them not go with the old hat professional comper line and instead advise potential clients about issues such as voting cheats and automated entry services.

These are the kind of things ruining marketing campaigns.

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18 Comments! Join The Conversation!

  1. sophsam says:

    Pot kettle comes to mind, seeing as at least one member of their staff is a prolific comper!!!

  2. Sunshinebaby says:

    One thing that annoys me greatly, they tell you you will need to provide proof of receipt if a winner, in 9 out of 10 cases they don’t request that proof…yet compers go out of their way to buy products……and not all the qualifiers are that cheap

  3. keriku says:

    Bits of this are laughable eg “could end up requiring medical help to end their addiction”. I enjoy comping but this makes us all sound like saddos! I have hardly entered anything this week due to family responsibilities, but I am NOT sitting in a room watching pink elephants running about!
    For a wee break my hubby goes to the pub and spends money, I stay in and SOMETIMES I win a prize for doing so!

  4. kevinwj says:

    The article told me that Promoveritas actually haven’t got a clue. As a PR company I would have expected them to have done some research before submitting the article, but instead it looks more like a copy and paste of any cliches they could find.
    They seem to be suggesting ( reading between the lines ) that shops shouldn’t let customers in because not everyone who comes through the door is going to make a purchase. When you should be inviting everyone in so that you can gain new customers.
    Through comping I have discovered many sites that I would never have visited otherwise and am now a customer of them.

  5. gallweym says:

    I enter 100+ comps a week, have one personal mobile phone, but for a really good comp might also (rarely I might add) enter under husband’s mobile number or my work mobile number but I am not a professional comper, this a hobby, and a sociable one thanks to Loquax. Loquats are there for each other during the dry spells, the hard times, the frustrating times, the sad times……quite unlike professional compers I would imagine. Who would have the time to give another person a Well Done or a Thanks or offer reassurance or congratulations if they’re too busy swapping SIMs. I have had my eyes opened to new brands and services through comping and I have gone on to immediately access/purchase what is on offer. If I haven’t, the mind stamp has been placed so that that brand is what I think of if I need something in the future.

  6. tiddles12 says:

    Outrageous….agree with Sophsam and the others above. Maybe their own ‘professional comper’ had nothing to do with the article, but if she did, I would be amazed and surprised…
    As for comping, I have actually bought goods and sevices from comps eg I have a large amount invested in the Forresters after they ran a comp a few years ago. I purchased a Hammond bedroom from them after entering their competition, and havre bought lots of other goods from sites visited when comping. Competitions does attract purchases.

  7. SBrunette says:

    I use many shops both online and offline that i wasn’t aware of until my hobby and i don’t buy something i dislike even if it has a competition on it.

    I do find that some people bend the rules on competitions and it would be nice if promoters can actually do something to make it fair.. Hence the just text a certain word to a number competitions that also state 1 entry per household. Now i know that people with a load of mobile phones/sim cards probably don’t stick to this (and really..what’s in place to stop them? ), otherwise i wouldn’t be seeing the same names on winners lists even when only a few prizes are on offer. I will continue to avoid text competitions that leave themselves wide open to cheating and rule bending as i only have one sim and my morals are more important than any win.

  8. felixthecat says:

    the rumours that have been going around for YEARS about this company (many of them proven I have heard) alone makes the whole PR release completely laughable lol……………..perhaps they should take a look closer to home and before they cast aspersions……… a few sayings that spring to mind are, pot/kettle… practice what you preach and …Trust takes years to build… but seconds to shatter.

  9. Jenex says:

    This company allegedly has a lot of friends and family win their own comps.

    Unibond springs to mind !!!

  10. chocolatequark3 says:

    To me, ‘comping’ is a way to pass the time and if I win, it’s a bonus. I have my own moral code (which I wouldn’t force on others) when I enter: I won’t bend the rules, I have one mobile phone (though I rarely enter phone comps) and I only enter competitions where I can use the prize.

    Though the above, I have come across businesses I’ve never used before (and am now a customer of), have ‘met’ some nice people and have won a few nice prizes.

  11. caspertheghost says:

    I find you can always judge the quality of an article by the number of exclamation marks it uses. This ranks as sensationalist claptrap since so many quotes end in one.

  12. britabevis says:

    A rather odd article, bearing in mind that one of their employees is definitely a big ‘pro comper’. I always try to avoid their comps now! People like PromoVeritas are ruining this hobby. I’ll probably be hung, drawn and quartered now! 😉

  13. TonyePW says:

    I only have one mobile but a lot of websites seem to encourage the use of multiple numbers and email addresses, explicitly stating that you can enter again with a different number or email address.

    And it’s absolutely true what people have said above – I now visit and shop at sites I wouldn’t have heard of without Loquax. And isn’t that the point of these competitions?

    Grrr, annoyed at that article!

  14. promoveritas says:

    Hi I am from PromoVeritas, and I would like to say a few things :
    1. Firstly we are not anti-compers, those who follow the rules are most welcome
    2. We are against those that try to break the rules by using multiple false IDs, or macros or other such systems.
    3. We are also against the naivety of many promoters who have weak terms & conditions and even weaker back processes for winner selection that may be far from fair or random.
    4. We do use compers simply because they know the industry and know the areas of weakness in a promotion – and not because of any bias or desire to influence the outcome or winner. And yes sometimes the name of someone who won previously does pop up as a winner, but as long as they entered fairly, that is life ( or more accurately a function of them entering lots of promotions!). Rumours are just that and we know that putting the fairness into promotions we are unlikely to make too many friends.
    5. There is no black list and never has been.
    6. We are concerned about automated entries from prize clubs and thank you for suggesting it as a priority topic for another press release
    7. We are always on the look out for promotions that are poorly constructed, have bad terms and conditions or other weaknesses.

    Thanks

    Jeremy

  15. jason says:

    Thanks for the comment Jeremy.

    I see PV are overlooking the Frijj Win Warren promotion. The terms are “This promotion is open to UK, NI, CI and IoM residents and BFPO aged 16 or over, excluding employees of Dairy Crest and their immediate families, its agents or anyone else professionally associated with this promotion”

    Does this include all PromoVeritas staff and their families?

    Regards

    Jason

  16. promoveritas says:

    Hi with regards to Jason’s comments all PromoVeritas staff and auditors have to sign a Confidentiality agreement that bars them from revealing inside information or from entering any promotions that we are working on.

    So our employees cannot enter the Friij promotion – and we have a list on our shared server of live projects we are working on to avoid any confusion or ignorance on the part of the team.

  17. dianebelcher says:

    I am retired and because of a disability for getting around, enjoy an hour on the computer each day to try and win prizes. I visit quite a few sites that I wouldn’t normally through Loquax and have subscribed to sites and buy things from companys I wouldn’t have known about if it hadn’t been for Loquax.
    I think to be a professional comper must be very hard work as I only ever win here and there (roughly a prize every couple of months or so). Good luck to anyone who can earn a living from comping, to me, comping will always just be a hobby.

  18. toddytwo says:

    I’d like to know if these handling houses hold blacklists of ‘professional ‘ compers,and if so ,would love to be advised who’s names are on them .
    Compers need to know if their entries are being entered or discounted ,so they can save their precious comping time and money

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