Social media continues to be essential for effective advertising and marketing, including in connection with promotional contests. Social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram, may be used to promote a contest or be an active part of entry and participation.
In addition to general requirements, such as requiring sponsors to comply with applicable contest laws, many social media sites also have specific terms and conditions including disclaimers required for rules and releases, guidelines as to whether a contest must be free to enter and restrictions on using some social media functions for a contest.
For example, Facebook’s Pages Terms include the following requirements for promotions “communicated” or “administered” using Facebook: operating the promotion lawfully, including official rules and eligibility requirements; complying with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements; having entrants release Facebook; and an acknowledgment that the promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Facebook’s terms also include specific restrictions on its functionality when running a contest.
The terms and conditions of other major social media sites contain rules, which vary depending on the platform, for running contests, which, if violated, can lead to page takedowns or account suspension.
Social media sites’ contest related rules also change from time-to-time. As such, contest promoters should check the specific requirements for each social media site they plan on using before launching a promotion, ensuring that contest rules and forms are compliant and that the way the contest is planned to be conducted will not violate the sites’ rules.
For more information about Canadian contest law, see: contests.
I offer a full range of promotional contest legal services for compliance with the Competition Act, Criminal Code and other relevant laws. My services include: preparing contests to comply with relevant federal laws, drafting short and long contest rules and statutory disclosure, reviewing promotional contest marketing and advertising materials, preparing winner release documentation, and vetting contest materials for Canadian misleading advertising law compliance.
Need contest rules and forms for a Canadian Contest? I offer a selection of Canadian contest rules and forms for common types of Canadian contests. For more information see: Canadian contest forms.
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