Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.


Promotional Marketing: Mystery gifts and prizes

Code rule 8.17.6 states that promoters must specify the number and nature of prizes or gifts. Whilst it is fine to have an element of mystery about a prize or gift, ads must include enough information about the nature of the prize or gift to ensure that consumers have enough information to establish whether or not they want to participate. This information will differ depending on the prize but is likely to include an indication of value and the nature of the item, such as a voucher, or a product from a particular brand. If the mystery gift or prize has any restriction on when, or where it can be used, these must be stated in the ad. For example, a weekend away in a mystery European city must state any restrictions on when this is valid, who is eligible, and what is included, such as flight and accommodation only.

Marketers should ensure that the ad includes all significant conditions which could have an impact on a consumer’s decision to participate. See Promotional Marketing: Terms and Conditions for further information.

The difference between prizes and gifts is outlined in Promotional Marketing: Gifts v Prizes.

This advice is designed to be read in conjunction with the Promotion Marketing section of the CAP Code and the other entries in this advice section. Promoters may also wish to seek legal advice.

Updated 12 May 2017


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