Late Responding Winner Complains To ASA

February 15th, 2019

thumb image have been warned by Advertising Standards following a recent prize draw where the winner lost the prize by responding too late to their winning email. Between the 19th September and 31st October 2018 entrants could earn an entry to a prize draw when they made a purchase with a Mastercard. The prize was to win a trip to Disneyland Paris for Mickey’s Birthday Celebrations.

The winner was notified but because they failed to respond within 24 hours, Zavvi awarded the prize to another entrant. The original winner complained to ASA and “challenged whether the promotion breached the CAP code”. Zavvi responded to the complaint by outling their terms.

Failed To Respond Within 24 Hours

The terms stated that “The winners will be contacted by email. The winners need to confirm that they are eligible and able to accept within the 24 hour period from when the email is sent”. In addition, Zavvi stated that the winning email also “reiterated the need for the complainant to contact them within 24 hours”. As the winner (the complainant) failed to respond within 24hours then the prize was re-awarded.

ASA found in favour of the complainant. Although Zavvi’s terms did state that the winner had 24 hours to claim the prize, ASA noted that Zavvi hadn’t included a date when the draw would occur. This means that participants would not know when they should be checking for potential notification of the win. ASA also concluded that as the 24 hour issue was a significant part of the promotion that it should have been prominently stated.

Promotion Must Not Run Again In It’s Current Form

Therefore as Zavvi ” did not prominently state when winners would be notified” or “that entrants were required to respond within 24 hours of that notification”, ASA considered that participants had not been dealt with fairly and concluded that the competition breached the CAP Code. ASA ruled that the promotion must not be run again in its current form.

We’re guessing that Zavvi opted for the short notification time frame because the prize had to be taken between the 16th and 18th November 2018. This was when Mickey’s 90 Birthday Celebrations were taking place at Disneyland Paris. Even so, 24 hours to claim a prize is far too short especially if notification is just by email. It’s unknown whether the complainant received a consolation prize from Zavvi. Whilst the ruling should stop another Zavvi winner from suffering disappointment it doesn’t replace the complainant’s obvious disappointment.

Full ASA Ruling

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