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.


Promotors should make select winners randomly or independently, make a reasonable attempt to inform winners and award the prize.

Selecting prize winners
Informing prize winners
Announcing prize winners

Selecting prize winners

Promoters of prize draws should ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance. If a verifiably random computer process is used, the ASA would expect to see evidence of this. If such a computer programme has not been used winners must be selected under the supervision of an independent observer (rule 8.24)

If the winner selection is open to subjective interpretation, there should always be an independent judge (rule 8.26). If there is only one judge, they need to be independent, if there is a panel there should be a least one independent member. The ASA ruled that a promotion was unfairly administered and breached the Code where the promoter did not provide details of the independent panel of judges (Rebecca Penny t/a Bridleworks 28 January 2015).

See also Promotional marketing: Independent judges and observers

Informing prize winners

The terms and conditions of a sales promotion should include information on how and when winners will be notified of results (Code rule 8.28.4). A tweet promoting a competition was upheld because there were no full terms and conditions, and it was not made clear to consumers how or when winners would be notified (Hard Rock Cafe (UK) Ltd, 11 February 2015).

Terms and conditions should be clear on how winners will be contacted, and if there are time limits on claiming prizes these should be made clear in the terms and conditions to avoid unnecessary disappointment. It is a promotor’s responsibility to ensure that they take adequate steps and make adequate attempts to contact winners and alert them to the fact they have won. Ringing a winner once will not be considered sufficient (Walkers Snacks Ltd 28 August 2013).

Announcing prize winners

Code rule 8.28.5 states that promotors must publish, or make available the full name and county of all major prize winners. CAP is completing work following a consultation on changes to its rules on the collection and use of data for marketing. These changes are intended to ensure that its rules cover data protection issues most relevant to marketing, and that they are aligned with the standards introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR). Until the work is completed, the ASA will not administer rule 8.28.5.

See also Promotional marketing: Prize draws


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