Last week, I gave you the low down on blog giveaway rules. I received a lot of comments from that one post (good ones!) asking a few more questions. I decided to delve a little deeper to provide you with even more information. So if you haven’t read that post (and you host giveaways on your blog), please go read it first before you continue reading this post. Or if you need a refresher, please re-read.
Blog friends…this is no joking matter. Especially if you view your blog as a business (or if you want to hold yourself in high blogging form and etiquette and be a rule follower). You are setting examples for other bloggers in the world when you do something right or when you do something wrong. People naturally follow by example. And in this instance, it is much better if they are following those that are hosting legal giveaways (aka sweepstakes).
Okay, in addition to the rules from my previous post, here are a few more to take note of and add to your memory:
Rule #14: All entries have to be weighted the same. So if you choose a point value of 1 for each entry, then all entries have to have the same point value. If you want to give 5 points for an entry, then the rest of your entries have to all be 5 points per entry. You cannot give someone an advantage of winning by providing different point values for different entries. If you are in the state of Texas, here’s the rule written in the Texas Business and Commerce Code:
“Sec. 621.105. PROHIBITED ACTS RELATING TO MATCHED CONTEST. A person engaged in the preparation, promotion, sale, distribution, or use of a matched contest may not:
7) represent that:
(A) a number, ticket, coupon, symbol, or entry form confers or will confer an advantage on a person that another person does not have or has a value that other entries do not have;”
If you aren’t in Texas, google sweepstakes/giveaway laws for your State.
Rule #15: Your Mandatory entry (as previously stated in Rule #3 and Rule #5 in my previous post) is the only entry where the element of Consideration is applied, which either turns your giveaway/sweepstakes into an illegal lottery or not. Your Optional/Extra Entries can be whatever your heart desires. But your Mandatory entry cannot cause Consideration.
Rule #16: You cannot giveaway Twitter Followers as a prize. That is strictly against Twitter TOS.
Okay, so now you are definitely in the know. Spread the word. Point your fellow bloggers (especially those hosting giveaways) towards these 2 posts. It’s important that everyone get on the same page. None of us have time to get ourselves in any kind of legal trouble over our blogs.
PS….Here is my DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. This is not me giving you legal advice. The information provided within this post is not legal advice and is only based upon my own research and experience. None of the above should be considered a substitute for you consulting your own legal counsel who will guide you and your blog/company in how to create and manage giveaways (sweepstakes or contests).
Read more #bloggingedumacation lessons here!