News and Updates around PBS


A place to share our thoughts, findings, and general updates.

Product Review Incentive Promotions Require Disclosures

Product review sweepstakes are common place and just this year, the NAD released new guidelines regarding disclosure requirements.  

Anywhere that product reviews are incentivized by a prize should somewhere show a brief disclosure about the connection between the review and the incentive. 

“Advertisers incentivizing reviews with sweepstakes or contest entries should ensure that such reviews contain a disclosure regarding the material connection between the entrant and the advertiser.” Read more here

Below are a few examples of how a manufacturer or retailer displays a disclosure for product reviews that are associated to a sweepstakes.

1. Raymour & Flanigan

2. JCPenney 

3. Nordstrom 


Sweeps vs Contest - Which promotion to run?

In this edition of Sweeps vs Contest, let's cover the appropriate times to run either promotion.

Let's start with the Sweepstakes. Again, a sweepstakes is a simple random draw. Entrants provide their contact information in exchange for a chance to win. As you can imagine, this is a really great time to add an opt-in box to that entry form.  Because sweepstakes are typically very easy to enter, you can expect volume participation, and this is a GREAT tactic to use when you're looking to simply build your fan base, email list, Facebook following -- you name it.  Providing an easy way to interact with potential new customers is a quick way to build that base. 

On the flip side, Contests require a bit more effort.  Here, you want to leverage your existing fan base (so, it would make sense to run a few sweeps first to build that up).  You are encouraging your audience to interact with your brand -- posting pictures, recipes, videos, design boards, you name it. While you're engaging your audience, you're also collecting user generated content, or new product ideas, or other valuable insights.  Here, since you are asking more from the entrant, you can (typically) expect less volume than a sweeps - but the quality of interaction is higher.  You're spending more time with your audience than a simple entry form.  The results can be pretty spectacular.

So, which to choose - a sweeps or a contest?  That's really up to you! If you need help making that decision, give us a call! 

Sweeps vs Contest - Know the Difference!

All too often, the words "Contest" and "Sweepstakes" are used interchangeably with promotions. These 2 different types of promotions couldn't be any more different. We're going to do a series of blogs notating the distinct differences in each of these types of promotions, when to employ either tactic, and the legal watch outs for running such a promotion. 

First, let's start with the basics, demonstrated in the image below.  We'll go into detail on each of these items later in the series, but the most important thing to remember with sweepstakes and contests is that the key difference lies in how winners are chosen.

With a sweepstakes - entrants submit their contact information in exchange for a chance to win.  It's as simple as that.  

With a contest - the entrant submits something they've created (photo, recipe, song, etc), and the winner is chosen based on their skill.  "The best _______ wins."

At the end of the day -- there's the difference.  However, sometimes a sweepstakes could be "disguised" as a contest -- for instance -- you could have a photo submission promotion that would encourage entrants to submit photos - but the winner is chosen by random draw in the end. And, since we now know that when a winner is chosen by chance, it's a sweepstakes!