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Kicking It Sweepstakes Style

Maybe it’s just me, but I think when promotion lawyers see an innovative sweepstakes, they think about the legal issues raised. I’m sure the jurisconsults debated over whether Tali, Terni Lapilli and Ludus Latrunculorum could be played without violating the extant, but not well-enforced, Roman gambling regulations. But I...

The Donation Sweepstakes

(Can We Do That?)
Tis the season. Some people like to use the phrase “Doing Well by Doing Good.” Early U.S. business magnates knew that financial benefits can come from philanthropy. In 1888, Cornealius Vanderbilt donated $250,000 (that’s six trillion dollars in today’s money) to the YMCA. General Electric, Ford Motor Company, U.S...

Not Sorry? Reese's May Be In Trouble For On-Pack Sweepstakes Disclosures

Being born and raised in Pennsylvania, let me start by saying that I love Reese Cups – a perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter that just makes you so happy. And of course, Reese’s should not be sorry that they make you want to have a Reese Cup...

How AI Can Alter Skill Contests

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel.”
AI could very well be today’s “Modern Prometheus” in the world of skill contests. Earlier this year, the AI-generated photograph “The Electrician” was a finalist in the World Photograph Organization’s Sony World Photograph Awards. Last year, another AI-generated art piece won the Colorado State Fair Fine Arts competition. Contestants...

Help! My Social Media Influencer Caused a Riot

The statistics speak for themselves: Influencer marketing in the US is valued at over $16 billion. 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media. 89% of marketers intend to increase influencer marketing. And of course, 1 influencer with 3.6 million followers has giveaway in Union Square...

Never Have I Ever

The Updated FTC Endorsement Guidelines and Proposed Rule on Fake Reviews
We’ve all at least once (and maybe only once) played the surprisingly revealing drinking game “Never Have I Ever”. You know, you go around the table with one person asking, “Never have I ever [fill in the blank]” with the others having to chug if they themselves have partaken...


Remember that old parody of the Battle Hymn of the Republic we used to sing before there was an Internet? There are apparently many versions, but they all generally involve children inflicting various types of mayhem on their school and its staff. The kids of today are now equipped...

Tesla’s Cybertruck Raffle

Examining loyalty points used for chance promotions
On May 11, 2023, @BabyTesla3 sent out a Tweet: NEW: Tesla has revamped the Referral program and introduced a new loyalty program! Here’s what you need to know • S/X: 3,500 credits (referrer) • 3/Y: 2,000 credits (referrer) • S/X: 6,000 credits (loyalty) • 3/Y: 3,000 credits (loyalty) &bull...

C’est le fun!

Don’t Forget Quebec Changed its Publicity Contest Law
Hearing “O Canada” being proudly sung during the recent NHL playoffs reminded me to remind you that in June 2021, la province de québec somewhat quietly amended its publicity contest law in order to exempt international contests from its harsh requirements. Et viola! If you are operating a game...

“Many Will Enter, No One Will Win” The MyPillow® Guy’s Contest

A Lesson in Contest Rule Interpretation
The phrase “Many Will Enter, Few Will Win” is often used to comply with CARU’s guidelines for contests directed to children. It’s meant to make it easier for kids to understand that they really don’t have a good shot at winning a prize. Based on the new AAA Decision...

Gambling 101: The Vice That's Getting More Nice

Gambling and more particularly the regulation of gambling has been part of the United States before we were even the United States. Societal standards and the need for revenue have largely shaped the history of legal gambling in the U.S. Risk taking and opportunism were part of the frontier...

NEWS ALERT! FTC Reverses Position On “No Purchase Necessary”

In an astonishing reversal (of fortune), the FTC today (April 1) announced that “No Purchase Necessary” is no longer necessary for games of chance, abolishing 168 years of legal precedent. With the inflation rate accelerating to 7.9%, gas prices up to $7.00 per gallon in some areas combined with...

No Oscar for You! A Look at the Morality Clause

The 94 th Academy Awards might have had dramas you never heard of (subtext COVID), but it wasn’t lacking in drama. When Will smacked Chris, a collective “whoa” rocked the Dolby Theater. The drama intensified when the question was tacitly raised, can the Academy take back Will’s Oscar? The...

Second Circuit Tells DraftKings Participants Cheating is Part of Sports – Get Over it

You read that right. The exact quote from the Second Circuit’s March 21, 2022 decision in Olsen v. Major League Baseball, Docket No. 20-1831, reads as follows: " [A]ny reasonable spectator or consumer of sports competitions—including participants in fantasy sports contests based upon such sporting events—is undoubtedly aware that...

We Donate $1MM To Charity. Do You Really? The NAD is Watching.

Two recent “routine monitoring” determinations of the National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs may indicate a trend toward the NAD’s investigation into cause-related marketing initiatives. On March 1, 2022, the NAD reported that it had reviewed: (1) DoorDash’s website claim: “We are donating $1 million, with $500,000 going...

Win a Train Wreck- Lessons From the Downfall of Artesian Builds

A custom PC company, Artesian Builds, who hyped its image by offering frequent giveaways ranging from $100 gift cards to t-shirts to custom built pcs, announced today (March 10) that it was suspending its business, following a controversy involving its Monthly Ambassador Giveaway. Please stand back when reading about...

Is it Ruff To Run an Internet Currency Sweepstakes?

Last month, a class action lawsuit was dismissed, in part, against plaintiffs who opted into Coinbase Global’s $1.2 Dogecoin sweepstakes. Dogecoin is an open source peer-to-peer digital currency (say that twice), with a cute Shiba Inu as its mascot. Even though the sweepstakes dealt with the new and ever-growing...

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! My Product Is Made in the USA

The Winter Olympics are here. I just watched the women’s U.S. hockey team take on Team Canada and it got me wonderin’: are those sweaters “Made in the USA”? To my knowledge, Nike does not tout them as such, and in fact, Nike has not revealed where its U.S...

What Comes Around Goes Around (Odds Facts In The History of Promotions)

When defending Helen Keller from a charge of plagiarism, Mark Twain famously wrote, “substantially all ideas are second-hand.” While it’s possible to come up with a totally new promotion idea, many of our well-known techniques have much older origins. The Billboard: Citizens of Pompeii apparently lived in whitewashed buildings...

It’s a Small World: Navigating a Global Sweepstakes

It's a world of laughter A world of tears It's a world of hopes And a world of fears There's so much that we share That it's time we're aware It's a small world after all. It’s a Small World by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman You...

California’s AB 488: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like But You Can Never Leave

The State of California is getting a firm grip on regulating charitable sales promotions with its new law AB 488 which passed in October 2021 and will become effective January 1, 2023 (in order to allow the Attorney General’s office to promulgate regulations to implement the new law). What...

Cameo and Commercial Co-Ventures

(Educating "Celebrities” on Their Fundraising Efforts)
Everyone not under a rock recently learned that you can soon purchase – for a mere $375 – a personalized video greeting from America’s former mayor turned outcast Rudy Giuliani (perhaps even with copious hair dye streaming down his face if he gets riled enough). For those of us...

A Big Merci Beaucoup to Les Habitants

"Void in Quebec" Est Fini
Oh, Canada, you give us ice hockey, maple syrup, Tom Hortons, and one stubborn province that had a noted aversion to “publicity contests.” But no more. Quebec has amended its laws concerning mandatory registration and fees for “publicity contests” (or what we in the lower 48 call “sweepstakes with...

Scoring A Touchdown With NIL Rights

“NIL” is short for “Name, Image, Likeness,” but for college athletes it may now mean “no income limits.” All three branches of government have essentially agreed that a college athlete could be paid for his/her NIL activities. However, what this means exactly is still far from clear. First, I...

The Raffle: A Calvin to the Sweepstakes Hobbes

Every six-year-old boy, at some time in his short life, comes up with the idea of running a raffle as an ingenious way of earning some easy money. It is then left to his sardonic stuffed animal friend to counsel him on the things he can do. You can’t...

Ad Says: “Terms and Conditions” Apply, Second Circuit Says: No They Don't

On June 8, 2021, the Second Circuit handed down its opinion in the case Soliman v. Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Ltd. , No. 20-946, holding that the vague, small type in Subway’s in-store ad referring to its “Terms and conditions” alongside the website address for these Terms was...

Animal Killing Contests: Is That Legal?

I literally had no idea. None. Until I recently saw that a bill in Oregon failed to pass (for the third time!) which would have prohibited the killing of coyotes in contests for cash or prizes. With the prize going to the hunter (used loosely) who can kill the...

Cashing in on Vaccinations: How Can They Do That?

I love it when there are new and innovative approaches to sweepstakes. That’s been the genesis and driving force behind sweepstakes promotions since they began. The term “sweepstakes” itself originated in the late 14 th century to describe someone who “sweeps” (or takes) the entire stakes in a game...
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