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Consumer Alert

Sweepstakes winners are NOT required to pay any money before receiving their prize. If you have been called or have been mailed notification that you have won a sweepstakes or other type of promotion and need to send money before receiving your prize you are most likely being scammed.

Over the past few years, NSC has advised consumers not to fall prey to these frauds. Unfortunately, these individuals are now using our name and logo in order to appear legitimate.  These sweepstakes are NOT legitimate and are in no way associated with NSC.

If you have been notified that you have won a sweepstakes or other type of promotion and are asked for money please contact your State Attorney General, or you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

For more information, please click here or call 800-894-5461.

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Want to run a DIY Sweepstakes? Read this first.

May 02, 2017
Promotion Tips

Want_to_run_a_DIY_Sweepstakes__Read_this_first.jpg

So, you have a sweepstakes idea.  And, you have a good idea of how you want to run it, so why not forgo hiring a Sweepstakes Administrator and DIY it? 

Although a DIY Sweepstakes might appeal to some, it’s definitely not for all (meaning, if you’re running a sweepstakes sans an administrators help, you’ll want to be up to snuff on the law). 

Here are 5 reasons to forgo the DIY and have a Sweepstakes Administrator on your side:

PROMOTION STRUCTURE

If you know the basics of running a sweepstakes, you know that you cannot require a purchase as the sole method of entry and if you do have a purchase involved, you have to also offer a free method of entry.  But, it’s not always that simple.

If you have a free method of entry, you have to comply with certain laws when it comes to those entrants who choose to enter by making a purchase.  For example, you cannot merely ask entrants to pay a “fee” to enter and not offer something of value in return.

The structure of the promotion may not always be as straight forward as you think.  It’s always best to run your ideas by a trusted source to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered.

OFFICIAL RULES

Speaking of having your bases covered.  Over the years we’ve encountered clients who ran a DIY Sweepstakes and found themselves in hot water because they copied and pasted someone else's rules and changed out the basics.  They appeared “official”, so why the issue?

Well, if you don’t know where the rules originated from, you can’t ensure the language within them meet the requirements of your particular promotion.  You also can’t ensure that the language being used is consistent or compliant with current promotional law.

Of course, we recommend a new set of official rules each time you run a promotion to ensure the utmost compliance.  But, if you’re determined to DIY, have a template drawn up by an administrator first. 

ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS

You’re going to be advertising your DIY sweepstakes, right?  I sure hope so!  Legal disclaimers are a must and certain forms of advertising require extra legal language (like direct mailings).  There are font size requirements, requirements for where the disclaimers reside...and, well it’s not always easy to find the information you need to be compliant in google searches. 

PRIZE LAWS

Did you know there are laws surrounding certain types of prizes?  Alcohol is a biggy (you can never award it...no, not ever).  And, you can’t award prizes that require the winner to pay an absorbent amount of their own money to use it (sorry, offering a hotel stay in another country without airfare and other spending money is a huge no-no). See where we’re going with this one?

TAXES

If you have a good accountant, they can advise you on the various tax laws surrounding sweepstakes prizes and the thresholds for issuing 1099’s to winner.  But, if you are a small business and handing your accounting on your own, you may need some official help here when it comes to awarding prizes and notifying the IRS.

STILL WANT TO RUN A DIY SWEEPSTAKES?

You may!  And, that’s okay.  However, we’ve posed quite a few compelling reasons to hire a savvy sidekick to ensure you are in compliance – after all, the end goal is a successful sweepstakes (sans any unforseen hiccups) right?    We’re here to help!

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