Sweepstakes And Promotions Counseling And Compliance

Once a company has selected and registered its brand names, it must promote those brands to the relevant consumers to boost sales and increase the goodwill or value of the brands. Many companies choose to promote their brands through various types of contests, including sweepstakes and skill contests. These can take on many different forms, ranging from a random drawing from among entries deposited at a retail store, to an internet promotion, to an in-pack promotion, to an essay contest.

Such contests are governed not only by federal law, but by the individual laws and regulations of each state whose residents are invited to enter the contest. Some states require contests to be registered in advance with the appropriate state office, and some require a significant waiting period, as long as 30 days, after the registration before the contest may be conducted. Failure to comply with the requirements of even a single state can result in a costly enforcement action, or even an injunction proceeding which could derail an entire regional or national sweepstakes promotion.

We have experience in counseling clients regarding the structure of all different kinds of sweepstakes and promotions to assure compliance with state and federal laws. We also assist in the drafting and review of official rules and related promotional materials and the registration of promotions and sweepstakes in those states which require it.

The firm is a member of the Promotion Marketing Association, with access to the most up-to-date information and materials on these subjects. At the same time, we have developed a working knowledge of the various state offices, and sometimes individual officers, that have jurisdiction over these matters. Particularly at the state level, not everything is answered in the printed regulations. It can be invaluable to know which states interpret these regulations most strictly and enforce them most vigorously, and who to contact in a particular state to obtain informal answers.

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