A promotion for Cadbury on www.cadburyinventor.co.uk, seen on 19 July 2021, that offered consumers the opportunity to design their own chocolate bar, featured terms and condition which stated, “… Selection Process and Judging Criteria … All valid entries (subject to moderation) during the Promotion Period will be judged by PromoVeritas (the independent promotional verification service). Following this process, 20 entries will remain and will be reviewed by a separate expert panel of judges (which shall include at least one independent judge) to select 3 finalists …”.
IssueThe complainant, who had requested the full names of the judges on the panel but was not provided with them, challenged whether the promotion breached the Code.
ResponseMondelez UK Ltd t/a Cadbury said that due to staff absence at the time of the complainant’s request, they had been unable to obtain consent to share the internal judges’ personal information at the time the complaint was made. They said that they had provided the complainant with information of PromoVeritas, who had acted as an independent judge during the process, and as an independent member of the final judging panel. They had also provided the job titles of the internal judges, which they believed adequately showed that those individuals were qualified to act as judges for the promotion and complied with data protection legislation. They believed that providing the judges’ names would not have provided any additional clarity as to their independence.
The CAP Code stated that Promoters must ensure that their promotions are conducted under proper supervision and make adequate resources available to administer them. Promoters, agencies and intermediaries should not give consumers justifiable grounds for complaint.
The CAP Code also stated that in competitions if the selection of a winning entry was open to subjective interpretation, an independent judge or a panel that included one independent member must be appointed. The full names of those appointed to judge the competition should be made available on request.
We understood that Cadbury had been unable to provide the names of the internal judges involved in the promotion, and who would also be present on the final judging panel, at the time of the complainant’s request because they had not been able to obtain consent to release their names due to staff absence. We also understood that in the absence of that consent, Cadbury had released the job titles of the internal judges, which they believed adequately evidenced the competency of the panel, while complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We understood that Cadbury had provided the complainant with the details of the independent PromoVeritas judge.
We considered that before the promotion started, Cadbury should have obtained consent from the internal judges to release their names, so as to be able to comply with the requirement of the Code, should a request be made. If any internal judge had not given their consent, we considered that Cadbury should have appointed a different judge to the panel in their place. However, Cadbury had not obtained consent from the internal judges at the time the promotion started, and only sought it in response to the complainant’s query once the promotion was running.
We considered that because Cadbury had not taken steps before the promotion had started, including setting up the necessary GDPR mechanism, in order to comply with the requirement to release the name of the competition judges on request, the promotion had breached the Code.
The promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 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), 8.14 8.14 Promoters must ensure that their promotions are conducted under proper supervision and make adequate resources available to administer them. Promoters, agencies and intermediaries should not give consumers justifiable grounds for complaint. (Administration) and 8.26 8.26 In competitions, if the selection of a winning entry is open to subjective interpretation, an independent judge, or a panel that includes one independent member must be appointed. In either case, the judge or panel member must be demonstrably independent, especially from the competition's promoters and intermediaries and from the pool of entrants from which the eventual winner is picked. Those appointed to act as judges should be competent to judge the competition and their full names must be made available on request. (Prize promotions).
We told Mondelez UK Ltd that they must be able to provide the full names of the judges on request in similar competitions in future.