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The dos and don'ts of 'win tickets' style brand activations

Thursday July 12, 2018 at 10:02am

Helen Hart, Regulatory Affairs Manager, IPM

We are well into a summer of sport with the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Athletics World Cup, among others - and we're getting into music festival season too. The IPM has seen a number of ‘win tickets’-style brand activations in the marketplace. While this can seem a great opportunity to give consumers access to these kind of events, promoters should beware.     

It is not necessarily a breach of the CAP Code to give away prizes without the brand owner's consent or knowledge, but unlike television, tickets or vouchers are a service and constitute a contract, and so will be treated differently in law.   

If you are not a sponsor of an event, and you do not have written permission to give away tickets, you may, if challenged, find yourself needing to prove that the consumer did not purchase or interact with the promotion on the basis of relationship of the event with the brand. For example, did the consumer only purchase the product and enter the promotion because they thought there was a connection with Wimbledon? You need to ensure that you don't use other brands' trade marks without permission.

 Additionally, the brand owner of the sports or music event might decide that they will not allow your winner to attend the event and you will find yourself in the embarrassing position of having to withdraw the prize and offer a different one. Even if you just want to say you are giving away tickets to a music festival, and you don't specify which one, you still need to be sure that the festival organiser will allow your winner to attend.  

If you want to run a promotion to win event tickets (or vouchers to be used to buy tickets), ask yourself the following five key questions:  

  1. Who has permission to offer the tickets and have you sought the permission? Don’t just assume that you can just buy a ticket to give away. You need to check the terms and conditions of the event to ensure that tickets can be used for promotional purposes (some events require the payment card holder to be present at the event). This also applies for vouchers for well-known ticket websites.  
  2. Is there an existing relationship that represents a partnership or sponsorship with the brand owner?  
  3. If so, what is this? Does the client understand clearly the agreement that is in place and can they provide evidence to state tickets can be used in consumer promotions if challenged?  
  4. If there is a sponsorship or other partnership agreement in place which does allow for tickets to be given away, what are the terms of offering any tickets as prizes? Are there restrictions such as times, purchase arrangements?  
  5. Would it be easier to provide a cash prize to allow the winner to buy their own event tickets?

If you have any specific questions relating to ticket giveaway promotions, please call us on 020 3848 0444 or email us at legal@theipm.org.uk. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

» Categories: Legal, CAP