I love entering contests and giveaways almost as much as I love hosting them for you. I also encourage my readers to enter other giveaways when I find them (unless I really want to win it LOL).
Last night I saw a giveaway on Plum District LA’s face book page that offered a one night stay at the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach. The wording on the status update was:
1.Fill in the blank: “My must-have item for the beach is__________”
2. ‘share’ this offer on your FB page (winner must show proof of ‘share’/screenshot if they win)”
Here is a screen shot:
I went to check the post for a winner this morning and saw that it was ME! YAY! I emailed the person mentioned in the comment immediately and received a response saying I had been disqualified because I didn’t leave a comment on the post. Take a moment and look at that picture again and tell me if anywhere on there it says I had to leave a comment. Yeah, I didn’t see any either. I shared the post like it asked and filled in the blank on my share just like it asked.
Here is a screenshot of my timeline:
The representative apologized for the confusion (never admitting they were wrong) and offered me $10.oo in codes for the Plum District website. I declined and did some more research.
Face book is very explicit in their Terms of Service for “contests and promotions” on a brand page. It is pretty much verbotten. The following paragraph is very easily found in the face book Help Center and should have been referred to before someone decided to host such a giveaway.
If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion (such as a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Please note that compliance with these guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion. Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.i. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.ii. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.iii. You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.iv. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.v. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.vi. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.vii. Definitions:a. By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.b. By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.
On November 6, 2009, Facebook changed their Promotions Guidelines significantly. Prior to this date, it was pretty much a free-for-all. With the changed rules, Facebook basically went from one extreme to the other.
In order to administer any kind of contest, you had to (1) get written approval from Facebook at least seven days prior to running your campaign, (2) have an account rep at Facebook and meet the minimum ad spend of $10,000 per month and (3) use a third-party app on the Facebook platform.
Then, on November 29, 2010, Facebook loosened up a bit and changed rules. So, the good news is:
- You no longer need written permission from Facebook in order to run a contest.
- You no longer need an account rep at Facebook, nor do you need to meet the minimum monthly ad spend.
- BUT you still must administer ALL contests on Facebook via a third-party app ON the Facebook platform.
That’s right! You MUST use an app to conduct a contest or risk having Facebook come down on you. Unless of course you’re a big time advertiser with Facebook.
It is obvious that Plum District did not do their homework and research these terms beforehand and therefore did a disservice not only to me and other entrants but to their client the Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach as well.
I just received another email, still no admittance of their error, but they have upped their offer from $10.00 to tomorrow’s promotion, some beauty products. No thanks. I am beautiful just as I am. Inside and out. Can Plum District say the same thing?
***UPDATED: At 10:30pm a voucher for the one night’s stay arrived in my email box. Thank you Plum District.