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ASA upholds complaints about saddlery competition

An online saddlery has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after breaching codes on sales promotions in a Facebook competition.

The ASA received five complaints regarding a competition run last October on Bridleworks’ Facebook page, which offered owners “the chance to see their four-legged friend become the face of our exciting new brand.”

Complaints over the judging of the competition were upheld by the ASA last week (28 January).

Entrants were asked to upload a photo and ask their Facebook friends to “like” their picture.

The competition said the top 20 equines with the most likes would go through to the second round, where an independent panel would choose the winner.

However, the ASA received four complaints from entrants who challenged whether the promotion was fairly administered. Another complainant questioned whether the voting system was clearly stated in the terms and conditions.

Rebecca Penny founder of Bridleworks argued the competition was run fairly through an online third-party service. She told the ASA this enabled competition organisers to change the criteria and allow participants to gain bonus points for sharing the page and inviting friends to “like” it.

“There was a link to the terms and conditions at the bottom of the competition,” maintained Ms Penny. “I did everything fairly, it was just a case of a few people not reading the terms and conditions properly.”

She told H&H the details of winner and runner-up were announced on the company’s Facebook page on 14 November 2014, and in the spring the new face of Bridleworks will be multiple Horse of the Year Show winner Login Lucky Lad, a coloured traditional pony.

But after an investigation the ASA concluded the promotion had breached codes on sales promotions, administration and prize promotions. Bridleworks was told the ad must not appear in its current form again, and any future competitions must have the voting system clearly stated in the terms and conditions.

Ref: Horse & Hound, 12 February 2015

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