July 31, 2018 Jesse Bickerton
Why do contest rules often say, “Void where prohibited by law?” If you’ve ever entered a contest or sweepstakes and read the rules, you should be familiar with this phrase. This is often included in official contest rules to cover the contest sponsor from entries received from places where contests or sweepstakes are not allowed. However, simply adding “Void where prohibited by law” doesn’t allow you to run an international promotion and may find your company in violation of several international law. Here are some tips for running international promotions.
Promotions can vary by country, sometimes even by region. Here in Canada, contests are often void in Quebec. Why? In Quebec, the “Regie des alcools, de courses et des jeux” governs promotions in Quebec and has several requirements to ensure compliance. Often, contests sponsors choose not to include Quebec in their eligibility, due to these increased requirements. In the United States, for example Rhode Island requires registration for prizes as low as $500 (this is only if the promotion takes place in a “retail location,” which itself is hard to determine), so often companies will exclude entrants from Rhode Island as well.
When preparing for an international contest or sweepstakes, we will prepare a set of Official Rules that comply to both Canadian and United States entrants as a starting point. From there, we consult our international experts for regional specific requirements that may be missing from the rules. Certain aspects of promotional rules may need to be adjusted due to different regions.
Depending on the countries included in your promotion and the rules have been prepared, they may need to be translated. When running an international promotion, often the rules have to be translated into several languages. For example, here in Canada, if your contest is open to Quebec residents, rules need to be provided in both English and French because there are two official languages in Canada. The United States has no official languages while India has sixteen! Paying attention to the official languages (or what languages are spoken) in certain countries are integral when preparing an international promotion.
Are you prepared to run an international promotion? We at RAVEN5 have prepared many international promotions for our clients and are ready to ensure your contest is a success no matter where you plan to launch it. Contact RAVEN5 today to plan your international contest or sweepstakes.
Jesse Bickerton, RAVEN5, July 2018