So part 1 of our review of 2011 saw plenty of controversy – but what happened in the second half of the year?
Unsurprisingly, July 2011 kicked off with yet more comping controversy. A comping group had managed to win the bulk of 100 washing machines in a Sainsbury’s competition. That group got lucky, but the big issue was the fact that you could still enter this promotion until the end of August and not know that all the prizes had been won.
Media interest in comping reached new heights in July with a number of TV programme makers enquiring about compers. Will 2012 be the year of the competition documentary? However, we did ask whether being in the spotlight is a good idea, especially with today’s social media. We highlighted the Euromillions Winners and reflected on the comments they’d received versus commentary on newspaper articles about compers.
TV popped up again in August 2011 when a US programme on High Stakes Sweepers was aired. If you enjoyed extreme couponning then you’d enjoy this look at US compers!
Back in The UK there were yet more voting issues to look at. We questioned whether Grand Marnier were running a best photo competition or a most clicks wins promo. It took them until three days before the competition closed to realise they’re mechanic was flawed and they drafted in a judging panel to pick their winner. On a lighter note we were pleased to see Citroen DS4 release a video of their winner receiving his car – a great idea!
September 2011 saw Loquax embroiled in yet another controversy. We won a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a Twitter competition and someone thought that wasn’t fair. Thankfully we got our prize!
Fuelled by doughnutty goodness and sugar, we issued a challenge to the Automated Entry Services. Remember these services are earning money by entering people into competitions – many of which do not want these entries! We said they should contact the sites first before dumping up to 20,000 automated entries into the system.
As far as we’re aware none have chosen this route. Indeed we still think one or two ignore the no automated entries rule that we advise all promoters to include in their terms. We also managed to get the view of The IPM on automated entries. We’ve not been exactly overwelmed with The IPM in 2011 and their stance doesn’t on AES doesn’t really change that opinion.
In light of that we posted our own suggestions on how promoters can make sure that automated entries don’t ruin their competitions.
On to better things and in October 2011 we introduced a “Meet The Bloggers” feature on the blog. We managed to get a handful of bloggers to post about themselves and their competitions. We also revealed new ways to enter competitions in the form of Appysnap (sadly now closing) and Yipiii.
Two competitions caught our eye that month too, both would go on and generate a lot of comments and feedback. Airwick launched their search for Britain’s Most Festive Family – initially as a voting contest – whilst Justin Timberlake’s movie In Time required entrants to play in real time for the chance to win £26,000!
The fallout from this competition was the subject of our first blog for November 2011. Some entrants complained and the promoter investigated but found nothing untoward. We’re not sure whether ASA are investigating this further though!
November saw the launched of Google+ for brands. Thankfully, at least for the moment, competitions aren’t part of the Big G’s social networking plans. Perhaps they’ve seen the mess Facebook have got themselves in with contests and competitions? Mind you Facebook are clamping down and we alluded to this in our multiple facebook comping accounts blog.
Those automated entries cropped up again but with yet more good news for promoters. We revealed yet more emails they need to watch out for when running their online competitions. In our blog post the company involved said they’d received thousands of entries.
Compers received some bad press in the form of a blog post on Totally Money. Promoters love to blame compers for actually entering their competition, but rather than run a competition accordingly they do stupid things like ban them from taking part because they might use a site like Loquax or MSE. In the comping blame game we point the finger in the other direction.
One of the most commented on blogs of November was our fading out competitions post. Some of you thought we were calling it a day, but no we just tweaked the site to make our quacker tracker even cooler and more user friendly.
And it was from that fading out idea that we brought in our innovation of the year – our tracking system for advent competitions. Not only did it help compers keep track of the comps they’d done – we also offered a block out option so that they could remove any advents they knew they’d not wish to enter. We’re not usually ones to blow our own trumpets, but this put Loquax in a different class to any other advent competition listings.
In fact most of our new innovations for Loquax came at the end of the year. Joining the fade outs and advent tracker were new tabs on our Facebook Wall which enabled compers to see the latest competitions and track them whilst playing on the social media site. A number of changes have been made in our back office too (but we won’t bore you about those).
Our activity on Facebook, however, got us into a little bit of bother. We think we might have over shared! Thankfully now that the advents have abated we probably won’t get into trouble again.
So that was 2011… next, we’ll be thinking about Loquax in 2011 and phoning up Mystic Meg to find out what’s in store for 2012.