Ad description

Four competitions listed on a competition website,, seen on 28 November 2017:

a. A competition for a Ford Ecosport Titanium included a link “Need Help- How to Play” which when clicked, a pop-up box appeared which stated “3 Simple Steps Pick a Category Answer a Question Pick a number Correct answer + lowest unique number wins Watch Video”.

b. A competition for a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 included a label in the ad which said “New”. Text stated “Play to win the latest from Microsoft: The Surface Pro 4 128GB”. The page included the same link as ad (a).

c. A competition for a Canon EOS7D Digital SLR. The page included the same link as ad (a).

d. A competition for a Citroen C4 Cactus. The page included the same link as ad (a).


The complainant, who had paid to enter a number of the competitions in 2016, challenged whether the competition breached the Code because they were still being promoted.


I Can Have It Ltd said that the competitions were not date driven but driven by the number of tickets sold. They were, therefore, not able to provide fixed end dates, as it was entirely dependent on the popularity of the prizes within any given competition. They explained that the four- to six-month competition period referenced in the FAQs section of their website was only an indication of what they expected and not a guarantee in any form. They said they explained everywhere on the website that a competition closed when all the tickets had been sold. In their response they said that that they would be unable to put a closing date on the competition. They further explained that they did not have the information on which they could base an estimated closing date for each competition. They said that, as at June 2018, the competition listed in ad (b) had closed, and that in each competition featured in ads (a), (c) and (d) they had, at the date of investigation, sold a few hundred tickets.

I Can Have It said that they would amend the website to show the opening date and a live update of how many tickets had been sold on each competition listing.



We considered that consumers were likely to access the competitions via the “Competition” page on the website which included text that stated “Each competition has many prizes to choose from and limited number of tickets. When all the tickets in a competition are played, the competition closes and the winner is announced”. We therefore considered that consumers would understand that there were a limited number of tickets available to purchase to enter each competition and that the competition would close when all the tickets were sold. That information was not included in the listings for individual competitions. We considered that consumers would understand from the individual listings, specifically the “Need Help-How to Play” pop-up box, that in order to enter they would need to purchase a ticket, answer a question and select a number from the range provided.

We understood that the competitions would close when all the allocated tickets had been sold and that the winner would be whoever answered the question correctly and selected the lowest unique number. We noted on the FAQs page that it said that competitions could last up to four to six months. However, we understood from the complainant that they had entered a number of competitions in 2016 which were still being promoted on the website in November 2017. The “Winners” page stated that since 2013 the majority of winners had won £10 vouchers, a handful of people had won TVs, but that none of the high value items such as holidays and cars had been won. Further, we understood from the website there had only been six winners in 2016 and one winner in 2017 and although some prizes had been awarded, it appeared a number of competitions for high value items had never been concluded and that the prizes may not have been awarded. We noted from I Can Have It’s response that the competition for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 had closed in June 2018 but that the other three competitions had only sold a few hundred tickets each and were still open.

We understood that competitions could be open for long periods of time, longer than suggested by the FAQs which was the only information available to consumers about potential competition length. I Can Have It said that they did not have sufficient information to calculate an estimated closing date for an individual competition. However, we considered that as the competitions could be open for a number of years before all the tickets were sold, the lack of clarity about the prospective length of the competition and there was no information about the number of tickets that had been sold, the absence of a closing date disadvantaged consumers by preventing them from making an informed decision about whether or not to purchase a ticket. We also considered that as the competitions did not have set, individual closing dates, the information which explained how the competition was run and when competitions would theoretically close should have been included on the individual competition pages. We considered that the length of time a competition could be open for was a significant condition that should be included in the ad and that it would also need to make clear to consumers how long the competition could be open for – for example, by including how many tickets had already been sold. We therefore concluded that the ads omitted significant information about how the competitions were run and the likely closing dates, and were therefore misleading.

The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  8.1 8.1 Promoters are responsible for all aspects and all stages of their promotions.    8.2 8.2 Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.  (Promotional marketing),  8.1 8.1 Promoters are responsible for all aspects and all stages of their promotions.  ,  8.15.1 8.15.1 Promoters must award the prizes as described in their marketing communications or reasonable equivalents, normally within 30 days.  (Administration),  8.17 8.17 All marketing communications or other material referring to promotions must communicate all applicable significant conditions or information where the omission of such conditions or information is likely to mislead. Significant conditions or information may, depending on the circumstances, include:  and  8.17.4 8.17.4 Closing date
 c (Significant conditions for promotions).


The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told I Can Have It Ltd to ensure that where consumers would be disadvantaged by a lack of a closing date on a competition, they made clear the mechanism for how the competitions were administered and provide information about the potential length of each competition.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

8.1     8.15.1     8.17     8.17.4     8.2    

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