Late on Friday we received a message on Twitter regarding problems with a recent iPad competition that had appearing on the social network. The message read “Please RT and unfollow @WETcreative for running a dodgy ipad competition #unfollowfriday”. Naturally intrigued we looked deeper and found that a number of compers were annoyed by the competition.
As we understand it an iPad was offered as a prize by the Twitter account @WETcreative. When it came to announcing who won the account holder informed followers that the person wished to remain anonymous and had been contacted via DM. However, eagle eyed compers noted that @WETcreative mainly followed celebrities and had not added any new people to their account.
This was interpreted as that they couldn’t have DMed (direct messaged) a winner and that raised questions over whether the competition was in fact genuine. It should be noted that you can DM someone following you, but they can’t reply if you’re not following them.
Despite questions from compers direct to @WETCreative (and the subsequent messages made to comping accounts) no winner was announced.
After getting the tweet we decided to take a look. Looking back at previous weeks, the same account holder had offered Peter Kaye tickets and £200 of Google Ads as prizes and again no winners were announced. On paper it doesn’t look good, but perhaps it was just a genuine misunderstanding and something easily rectified?
It’s important to give a promoter the chance to sort themselve and if the competition was genuine surely they’d have posted the winner on their twitter account in response to the requests?
Sadly we’ll never know if @WETcreative were genuinely giving away prizes or what a result of any intervention by the Institute of Sales Promotion, as threatened by compers, would have yielded.
The Twitter account of @WETcreative has followed that of Jason Mansford and been deleted from the twitterverse. Therefore, we can only say for sure that one of them was definitely in response to a public misdemenour (sorry Jason – we liked your funny tweets) but in the other case it doesn’t look great.
What we do know is that it’s good to know that compers are being eagle eyed on Twitter and this incident should pose as a warning to both promoters and twitter entrants.
Just because a competition is on Twitter, it doesn’t absolve anyone from the basics of running a promotion. In our opinion, promoters really need to adhere to the Twitter rules for running contests including protecting themselves by making sure they have clear terms and conditions.
Promoters found not to be playing fair with their Twitter competitions may find themselves being discussed in the same way as WETcreative.