Brand & Media owners face promotional re-think
By staff
Media and brand owners will have to rethink their sales promotion strategies as a result if the forthcoming Gambling Bill goes through.

Thousands of simple quiz competitions, used throughout magazines, television and through direct mail will be illegal once the bill goes through. Many are expected to convert to lottery status and will therefore have to donate 20% of revenues to good causes.

The implication is a result of a redefinition of the boundaries between charitable lotteries and commercial prize competitions. The legislation has been designed to clamp down on illegal operators if they use a process which neither:

“a) prevents a significant proportion of persons who participate…from receiving the prize, nor b) prevents a significant proportion of persons who wish to participate…from doing so.”

Promotions and games which use a question, and charge a premium rate for response, will thus be regarded as illegal lotteries once the new legislation is in force.

Promoters face three choices:

1. Make their competitions free to enter

2. Make the questions or other skill-mechanisms much harder

3. Recast their promotions as lotteries

CEO of external lottery manager Million-2-1, Chris Sheffield expects many brand and media owners to go the lottery route:

“Faced with a choice between losing all their revenue, losing a significant proportion of potential customers, or donating 20% to good causes, most organizations would see the value of taking the responsible approach and working with an external lottery manager to design new forms of promotion.”

Sheffield : “This legislation will see external lottery managers take on a more strategic role in the promotions industry. Just 9 lotteries council members in the UK are currently accredited as external lottery managers by the gaming board.”

Contact: Tim Kitchin, Glasshouse Partnership, 0207 255 0273 or 0788 7986868

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