ASA Adjudication on Brand Bang!
Your Presence Online
The Grange, Suite 4
20 Market Street
31 October 2012
Internet (sales promotion)
Number of complaints:
A sales promotion on the Brand Bang! Facebook page stated "Want an iPad2? Read on. As a reminder ... we have several great prizes on offer with our most recent competition. Timed Tournaments ... 30 minute tournament - £250 prize on March 31st - This is an ongoing game. We will keep track of your best 30 minute performance. Best overall score wins. In the event of tie score on March 31st all players tied at highest score will be entered into a draw to decide the winner ... 5 minute tournament - £100 prize on March 31st - This is an ongoing game. We will keep track of your best 5 minute performance. Best overall score wins. In the event of tie score on March 31st all players tied at highest score will be entered into a draw to decide the winner ... Perfect game ... Score a perfect 10 out of 10 on BrandBang! using only one star per image to be entered into a draw for £150 prize on March 31st.
Most influential Brand Banger! ... We are giving away great prize [sic] to the most influential Brand Banger! an iPad2. Think you can be the most influential player between now and March 31st 2012? Entering and winning this contest is easy, just be an active and engaged member of the Brand Bang! Community".
The complainant challenged whether the competitions had been administered fairly, because they believed no winners had been announced since the closing date of 31 March.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Brand Bang! said the details of the competition entrants were held on an outsourced database which they were unable to access, after the closing date, due to corruption issues. They told us this was outside their control. They said when they were informed about the database damage a message was posted on their Facebook page which stated "… because we have had some major technical issues with the implementation of Brand Band 2 (including some loss of data), the competition is still open. We are working hard to resolve these issues". They later said they had a compilation of data that could be used to select and notify the winners of the competition but that to be selected as a winner the advertiser said entrants had to have provided their e-mail address and permission to receive newsletters. They said because one of the winners had not supplied this information and had blocked messages from the advertiser the prize was not able to be awarded. They said they were in the process of contacting another entrant to find out if they had supplied their e-mail and had given permission to receive newsletters and if this information was not received, they would award the third prize to one of the current prize winners who they said was eligible to receive the prize.
The ASA understood that due to technical reasons beyond the control of the advertiser the competition database could not be accessed which made the verification of winners very difficult. On 3 April 2012, after the competition had closed, Brand Bang posted information that related to the technical issues on their Facebook page but we considered that the wording could have given the impression that the database problems may be resolved. We asked for further confirmation of the database failure which was not supplied. Some followers of the advertiser had posted comments in May, June and July asking for confirmation of competition winners but we did not see evidence that the advertiser had replied to the followers' questions or that competition winners had been announced.
We understood that the data subsequently received by the advertiser allowed them to select winners; this was almost six months after the competition closing date. We also noted that the eligible winner of a prize was unable to be contacted as they had not supplied their e-mail address or had given permission for further communications, and that they were unable to verify whether a subsequent prize winner had provided their e-mail address which under the CAP Code would be a significant condition of entry to the competition.
Because we did not see evidence that the database had failed or that the advertiser had taken additional steps to ensure consumers who had participated had not been disadvantaged, we concluded the ad was misleading and the promotion had not been administered fairly.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 8.2 (Sales promotions), 8.14, 8.15.1 (Administration), 8.17, 8.17.4e (Significant conditions for promotions) and 8.27 (Prize promotions).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertiser to ensure future promotions were administered fairly to avoid disappointment and that significant conditions for promotions were clearly stated.