You Might Be a Winner

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Category: Contest

The Year in Lawsuits

2018 brought us the type of lawsuits you would expect in the world of sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. From "The Annoyance Lawyer" to Bobbleheads to "You're Probably Never Going to Be A Winner." The most depressing thing is the lawsuits themselves, often filled with either corrupt sponsors or litigious...
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What’s the Straight Dope on Marijuana Promotions?

Prop 215 was enacted in California twenty-two years today on November 5, 1996. This law was the first of its kind in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana use. Since then 30 states have approved medical marijuana use and 9 have legalized recreational marijuana. Maybe a long timing coming...
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IGTV – Instagram's New YouTube

Online videos are powerful marketing tools. We've all been there when you watch one video on your phone and suddenly realize you've wasted hours watching clips of a dog skateboarding, a step-by-step tutorial on making a unicorn cake, and your favorite celebrity's appearance on a talk show. While video...
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The 2018 Most Interesting Super Contests for the Super Bowl

The noted football lover, Karl Lagerfeld, once said, "Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity." (This coming from a man who has dressed in the same outfit for 50 years.) This year, the marketers have thrown away the playbooks, sidestepped clear thinking and used Bill Belichik-like creativity...
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Time to Take Your Shot: Prize Indemnity Insurance Edition

We're getting into the swing of the basketball and hockey seasons and you know what that means? (Yes, the Knicks still haven't been mathematically eliminated.) But also, it's time for the Half-Court Shot Contests and Blue Line Shot Contests to give weekend warriors the chance to quit their day...
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What Prizes Can/Can't Be Given Away

Some things you may not be able to give as prizes: - Smokes (MA, MI, VA) - Gas (NJ, VA) - Beer (many states) - Milk (restricted in a number of states) - iPad (formerly) - Yankees tickets (because they may contain a no-transfer provision) - Puppies (most states...
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Sweepstakes Rules: How Much Is Too Much?

William J. Shakespeare recognized over more than 400 years ago in As You Like It that, "Excess may do you harm." This may still hold true today for sweepstakes and contest Official Rules. The internet has allowed Official Rules to be as long as a lawyer's imagination. But don't...
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You Can’t Do That (Strange But True Illegal Contests)

We all know that promotions involving such things as dairy, gasoline, and cigarettes are illegal in some states, but if you dig a little deeper, you'll learn that a red flag should go off if, for instance, a sponsor wants to run a dance marathon/kissing contest next Valentine's Day...
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How About Some Updates?

You may or may not have heard of some recent developments in the promotion world. If you haven't, great, let me be the first to tell you. If you have, my update is better. Endorsements/Influencers Back in the 1940s, a sociologist named Paul Lazerfield introduced the psychology behind the...
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Some Common Sweepstakes and Contests Questions Answered

Our teachers have told us that there's no such thing as a bad question. In that light, I've come up with 11 common (simple) questions about running a sweepstakes or contest. And to prove that there are no bad questions, I've also gone ahead and answered them. Enjoy! Social...
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With A Nod to May Day, Let's Look at Beauty “Contests”

Beauty pageants have been around since the Middle Ages when during the English May Day celebrations a May Queen was crowned. But unlike our current pageant winners who go on to work toward advanced degrees and to advanced popular causes, folklore has it that our early May Queens' reign...
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Tapping Into a New Method of Cause Marketing

What do you do when your esteemed institution of higher learning has an alma mater which, in the words of one professor, could be interpreted as being "complicit with racism"? You do the right thing and engage the community to fix the injustice. This is exactly what Harvard University...
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Hey That’s Me Drinking That Beer! UGC Rights at Issue in Beer/Photo Lawsuit

Kayla Kraft (no known relation to the cheese people) found herself on a Natural Light coaster with a fake handlebar mustache drinking a beer under the heading "Every Natty Has a Story." She apparently didn't like that story and just sued Anheuser-Busch , the makers of Natural Light beer...
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U.S.A! U.S.A.! - House Votes to Eliminate the "Victory Tax" on Olympic Prizes

Olympic prize awards are generally taxed like other prizes. Some lawmakers have seen this practice of taxing our Olympians as a "victory tax." On Thursday (Sept. 22, 2016), the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill exempting U.S. medal winners from paying taxes on the money they receive from...
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Why is That in the Official Rules? What to Know When You Copy and Paste

According to Wikipedia, the term "copy-and-paste" refers to the popular, simple method of reproducing text from a source to a destination. We all do it. You may even do it to draft your Official Rules for a sweepstakes or contest. No need to re-create the wheel, right? But, to...
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Having Fun with the Yankees (Or at Their Expense): Opening Day Edition

Marketing is supposed to be fun. And by golly, the folks at HBO are circling the bases by taking on sport's most esteemed franchise, the New York Yankees. I'm talking about Comedian John Oliver's "I Have Never Sat In A Premium Location" contest. If you haven't heard about it...
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Do I Need the Horse's Permission to Take its Picture for a Contest?

The Guardian reported on February 2 that the owner of a horse who was in a winning contestant's selfie claims that she should share in the contest prize because the winner did not get her permission to take her horse's picture. Unknown if the horse gave permission, I can't...
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I'm About to Deliver on 1/1/16 - Where Can I Get the Best Prizes?

On December 22, in my blog on the Miss Universe debacle , I related the story of the mother of baby Yuki Lin who was awarded $25,000 for giving birth at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day 2007 after temper tantrums arose over the fairness of the...
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And the Winner Is...

It's now viral. Even if you had no interest in watching women get judged based upon how they look in swimwear (athletically speaking, of course), you know that on Sunday Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia (the country, not Columbia the university, Steve) the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant...
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10 Things You May Not Have Known About Promotion Marketing

Practically every type of promotional activity is regulated in some way: Sweepstakes and contests User generated content on websites and social media; Coupons, gift cards and money-back guarantees; Charitable solicitations; Celebrity endorsements or other testimonials; Marketing to children; and Even trying to give something away for "free" 2. You...
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