Although there's nothing to stop anyone setting up a prize draw or competition, you still need to have rules and you still need to follow ASA/CAP rules. If you're considering running a promotion that involves payments then you may even need to look at laws surrounding raffles, lotteries and no purchase necessary rules. Whatever you're doing with respect to giveways, competitions and prize draws need rules, and in order for your promotion to be fair you'll need to make sure they're adhered too. Rules aren't just there for your entrants but they're there to protect you too!
Before deciding the rules, think about who you want to enter!
Is your competition open to UK residents only? Will you allow more than one entry per person or per email address or per home address? If you do allow multiple entries, can a person enter more than once per day, week, or month? Will you disqualify people if they bend the rules? Now think how long you want the competition to run for! We usually run all our promotions for at least 4 weeks, however be sensible. if you have a £10 prize on offer it's not good practice to pad out your prize draw for several months. Please give your competition a closing date and make sure you stick to it!
To help you we've put together a set of standard competition rules. Publish them on your site and make sure they are clear and accessible to everyone. Too many websites hide away their competitions terms and conditions, whilst some don't even bother to show any. Feel free to edit the rules as you see fit. For example you may decide your competition should be one entry per household or open to visitors around the world.
Rules are a very important part of running your competition. To help you we've compiled a basic set of rules which you're quite welcome to copy and paste to use your on your site.
Prize Draw Rules
Rule 3 regarding automated entries is of particular importance and we advise all promoters to include this in their rules AND ensure it's applied. We strongly advise everyone who runs competitions to monitor entries on a day to day basis! Check IP addresses of entrants, unusual fluctuations of traffic and referrers. Anything unusual is well worth investigating and long term will mean your competitions are fair to genuinely interested people.
For information about the law and free prize draws we recommend you check out Out Law. You'll also find CAP code guidelines from the British Code of Advertising, Sale Promotion and Direct Marketing that can help you with regards your rules. Failure to provide rules and/or flout them can lead to complaints being made about your promotion to ASA. This could result in adverse publicity for your brand.