All it takes is just one person to derail a promotion. One person who may have had a bad experience, received a prize that didn't work, or - even worse - deliberately took advantage of a loophole in your carefully-planned campaign (yes, those people do exist). One way to protect your agency, your client and your sanity is to spend time crafting a set of solid Terms & Conditions (Ts & Cs) or, what we can call, the campaign "bacon saver".
Some Ts & Cs will include points about fraudulent activity, natural disasters, loss of electronic information, change of promotion details, etc. This type of information sounds like excessive "legal-eese", but it is this that will cover your client for every eventuality that could arise and help to deter dishonest entries.
Ts & Cs are your first line of defence against opportunists and cheats. An important point to note is that most of your genuine entrants will never read the Ts & Cs, but you can guarantee that scammers will examine every single word!
Ts & Cs not only have to be tailored to suit your promotion, but they will need to suit the country(s) you run the promotion in, therefore it always pays to get a lawyer to eyeball the Ts & Cs before you release them into the wild.
Once the Ts & Cs are finalised you will need to house them somewhere. Check to see if your country has particular advertising standards that specify where Ts & Cs are to be located and how you shoud reference them within your campaign.
If your campaign has its own website, microsite or landing page, you can include a "Terms & Conditions" link. Otherwise you can put the Ts & Cs on your client's company website with a vanity URL to make finding them easier.
Within your campaign elements (which could included printed collateral, radio ads, TV ads, etc) you should reference that you have Ts & Cs for this promotion and where they can be found. For example: "Terms and conditions apply. Please visit our website www.abc.com for further details." or "Offer available for a limited time only. Terms and conditions apply."
You can run a promotion or competition without Ts & Cs, but it's a major risk. If your client wants to proceed without Ts & Cs, then I suggest you do two things. Firstly have a conversation asking why they would want to forego this formal protection, and let them know - loud and clear - your recommendations. If they still insist, then you should get their instructions in writing (via email would be legally sufficient in many countries - check your own laws to make sure). That way at least your agency will be protected if anything goes awry during or after the campaign.
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