The search is on for Mum of the Year for 2012 and just like boxing there are various ways to get your (or your mum’s) hands on the title. Fortunately you don’t have to get in the ring to determine who should be declared the winner, but at least one of the competitions has already had a bit of a battering. The reason for this is quite simple, they want to pick the winner via a public vote.
We take a look at the competitions, the prizes on offer and how they work!
1. Foxy Bingo
Foxy Bingo are looking for a Celeb Mum of the Year and a Mum of the Year in their annual competition. Last year the celebrity award went to Stacey Soloman – whilst in previous years the award (sponsored by other brands) has gone to the likes of Katie Price and Kerry Katona! Visitors to the site suggest nominations and then a shortlist goes to the public vote.
The Foxy Mum of the Year award is different. It’s open to everyone and the winner will be judged by Foxy and Stacey. The winning Mum takes the title, gets a trip to London for makeover as well as a nice holiday.
Entries for this competition have now closed, however in association with Thorntons your Mum could have won “the ultimate Mother’s Day present and the chance to be crowned Costcutter Mum in a Million”. To enter you needed to upload a photo and say why your Mum deserves to win. Costcutter will pick seven finalists but the overall winner will be chosen by public vote.
Voting starts on the 22nd February and the overall winner gets themselves a luxury spa weekend for two people courtesy of Red Letter Days. It’ll be interesting to see how that element of the competition pans out.
Not content with sponsoring the Costcutter competition, Thorntons want their own Mum of the Year Competition. To enter you just need to answer the question “My Mum is the best because…” and you could follow in the footsteps of Hazel Floodgate who won last year.
The prize is a year of chocolate and a spa break. The winner will be chosen by a judging panel – at a guess they’ll also double check that the winning entry is real because the rules also say “in the case of a winning entry which proves to be false or cannot be corroborated, the decision may be reversed”. The closing date for entries is the 20th April.
Littlewoods’ Mum of the Year competition is running on Facebook and they’re opting to use public votes to determine their winner. As you’d expect, this is the one that’s so far attracted most controversy. As soon as the competition was announced Littlewoods were told about voting issues to watch out for and to perhaps consider picking the winner themselves.
Despite initial Ostrichitis (head in the sand), Littlewoods have finally acknowledged the comments. However they are sticking to their public vote mechanism as they say the competition is underway and they can’t change it now. They do say that if anyone is spotted cheating then they will take action provided evidence is sent to them.
Voting aside, the prize is quite good. The winner will get £1000 to spend at Littlewoods.com plus a VIP makeover and photoshoot with Coleen Rooney’s stylist and makeup artist! The closing date for entries and voting is 9pm on the 17th March.
So Who Will Have The Mum of The Year 2012?
In our view Thorntons and Foxy Bingo are doing it the right way. The competitions are about who is the best Mum – not who can glean the most votes by fair means or foul. Due to the nature of public voting a worthy winner may miss out on deserved recognition because someone cheats or because someone simply has a greater social reach.
The Costcutter mechanic is slightly better than Littlewoods in so much they’re at least wittling down the entries to hopefully seven deserving ladies. Hopefully the winner will be the best entry! Mind you, if Costcutter can judge entries down to seven then why not just judge the whole competition?
Litttlewoods’ mechanic is at best poor. The good news is they’re using social media agency One Iota for their competition so maybe they’re savvy enough to make sure the voting is done fairly. However, we’d have thought a social media agency would be fully aware of vote swap groups and vote buying groups and brokered a mechanic to deal with that from the outset.
Regardless, asking people to vote to give someone a title is unfair. In public votes no one bothers to look at all entries – and yet if you’re going to say “this person is Mum of the Year” it makes sense to actually make sure all participants have an equal chance of picking up the prize.
The one good thing is that if you’re not keen on voting competitions then you can always try the Thorntons one! Littlewoods might be advised to take a look at that competition too.