A series of tweets posted on 25 and 26 January 2012 from the official Twitter account of Rio Ferdinand stated "I'm giving 2 tickets away for our home match against Stoke (31st Jan KO 8pm) ... I will tweet tomorrow morning with details of how to enter ...", "The 2 tickets I am giving away for the Stoke game will have Players Lounge tickets with them too ... competition info will be here tomorrow AM", "Will have all info on comp in 30 mins! Finished training later than expected, sorry!", "If you have downloaded the Rio Ferdinand App on iphone/ipad/Android or do so by Monday 5pm u may be randomly picked out to win the tickets! GO", "The competition tickets are for the Man utd vs Stoke game on the 30th Jan at old Trafford. The Rio Ferdinand App is *FREE* so don't worry!", "RT @lam_jackia: @rioferdy5 what about the app on ipod? Does that count aswell??? >> >> All platforms!", "RT @luismufc: rio what about us loyal fans who had your app when it first came out, now the mickey mouser fans get entered >> You are all in!", "We only see registrations. Will be random pick&a unique message sent to winning device explaining how to collect tickets - no big brother!".
The complainant challenged whether the prize promotion was misleading, because it did not make clear the terms and conditions of the prize draw.
New Era Global Sports Management Ltd said that the tweet referenced a free giveaway and there were no fees received by Rio Ferdinand or the New Era Group companies for giving away the tickets. They said the application download was free, whether taken from iTunes, Getjar or Android Market, and downloading the application was the only criteria required to enter and they that felt that was explicit in the series of tweets. They stated that a winner was chosen, entirely at random, from all those who already had downloaded the app since its initial launch in May 2011, up until 5pm on Monday 30 January and felt the tweets setting out the competition made that clear and that Rio Ferdinand had tweeted a specific clarification about the inclusion of all downloads and not just those driven by the give-away notification. They said that every time an app was installed, a unique registration or electronic device 'address' for that user was received and, to select the winner, they took the complete listing of all registered 'addresses' at the cut off time for downloads since its release and a single address was drawn after the deadline. They then sent a unique message containing a congratulatory message and a phone number for the winner to call. They said they had gone to a great deal of effort to ensure that they did not mislead in any way the users of the app or the associated messaging.
The ASA noted that Rio Ferdinand's first tweet about the prize draw, on Wednesday 25 January at 7.48pm, stated "I'm giving 2 tickets away for our home match against Stoke (31st Jan KO 8pm) ... I will tweet tomorrow morning with details of how to enter ..." and considered that made clear he was offering a prize draw, the prize on offer and when he would provide the information on how to enter. We noted that the second tweet of 25 January stated "The 2 tickets I am giving away for the Stoke game will have Players Lounge tickets with them" and therefore provided additional information about the prize. We noted that, on 26 January at 1.56pm, Rio Ferdinand tweeted "If you have downloaded the Rio Ferdinand App on iphone/ipad/Android or do so by Monday 5pm u may be randomly picked out to win the tickets! GO". We considered that tweet set out the conditions of entry to the prize draw (downloading the app, which we noted was a Rio Ferdinand product); the deadline for entry (the following Monday at 5pm) and how the winner would be selected (at random). We noted that subsequent tweets also provided additional information about the prize draw, namely that it was free to enter, that it was available on all platforms and included further confirmation that those who had already downloaded the free app would be included in the draw, and that the random selection would be made on the basis of the app registration information provided when it was downloaded. We noted that those additional tweets provided further clarification, but considered that the main terms had already been set out in the 1.56pm tweet of 26 January.
We noted that the complainant was concerned that the tweets did not make clear how the winner would be randomly selected. We noted that at 7.12pm on 26 January, Rio Ferdinand had tweeted "We only see registrations. Will be random pick&a unique message sent to winning device explaining how to collect tickets - no big brother!". We considered that underlined that the selection was random and that the winner would be selected via the registration information. We noted that the winner was randomly selected from the list of registered 'addresses' of those who had downloaded the app before the deadline and understood that those registered 'addresses' did not contain any identifying information or contact details. We were therefore satisfied that that selection process had been properly administered and that the winner had been randomly selected.
We noted that the complainant was also concerned that there were no references to any terms and conditions. We considered, however, that the significant terms were explained in the tweet of 26 January at 1.56pm: "If you have downloaded the Rio Ferdinand App on iphone/ipad/Android or do so by Monday 5pm u may be randomly picked out to win the tickets! GO", with additional clarification set out in subsequent tweets. On that basis, because we considered that all the significant terms and conditions of the prize draw had been set out in Rio Ferdinand's tweets, and because we were satisfied that the prize draw had been properly administered, we concluded that the prize promotion was not misleading.
We investigated the prize promotion under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising), 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: 1 (Significant conditions for promotions) and 8.28 8.28 Participants must be able to retain conditions or easily access them throughout the promotion. In addition to rule 8.17, prize promotions must specify on all marketing communications or other material referring to them, the following information, clearly before or at the time of entry, where the omission of any of the specified items is likely to mislead. (Prize promotions), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.