ASA clarifies Guidance on Promotions via Social Media.  

CAP Guidance on Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing

The ASA has released new CAP Guidance which cover social media promotions.   The Guide states that all promotional marketing must include all significant T&C’s  in the initial promotional material.  With space and time at a premium on social media, long and detailed T&C’s are tricky to include.

So what does “significant” mean?

Anything that is likely to affect a consumer’s understanding of the promotion and whether they participate or not. For example start date, closing date and whether proof of purchase is required.

Where should the significant T&C’s be?

In the main promotion.

Where should other T&C’s be?

Less significant T&C’s should be available before or at the time of entry. They don’t have to be given the same prominence though.  For example, they can be stated on an in-store leaflet or website.

What if my promotion is limited by time or space (e.g. a tweet)?

A promotion that is significantly limited by time or space must include as much information about significant conditions as practicable.  Limited promotions should also direct consumers clearly to an easily-accessible alternative source where all the significant conditions of the promotion are prominently set out. Participants should be able to retain those conditions or easily access them throughout the promotion

Who’s got it wrong in the past and why?

A complaint against an Amazon Prime promotion was upheld by the ASA.  The ASA held that the initial promotion didn’t state that customers would automatically be charged for a year’s subscription (which cost £79), if they did not cancel their free trial.

Betfred also got it wrong. A complaint against them was upheld by the ASA following a welcome offer it sent by email to new customers.  The offer failed to prominently state that it could only be used on members’ first bets. That information was instead included in the complete terms and conditions, which were listed on the website, two clicks away from the offer email.

So, what does that mean for you?

When you are designing a new promotion, consider the medium which will be used and how you can concisely get your significant T&C’s across to your audience. Be careful about what the significant T&C’s are, consider getting independent advice on this.  If you need to roll over less significant terms, work out creative solutions to ensure you get audience’s attention in the most direct way possible. Finally, think through how you will adapt promotions via social media which is limited by time and space such as Twitter.  If you need any help, get in touch.

For more information see: https://www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rulings/advertising-codes/non-broadcast-code.html 

If you require any support with online promotion campaigns please contact https://www.steerandco.com/contacts/mailin-bala/ or https://www.steerandco.com/contacts/rebecca-steer/