Sweepstakes Privacy Policies: A Key Aspect of Sweepstakes Promotions

Promotional contests, giveaways and sweepstakes are invaluable tools for businesses looking to attract new customers. Unlike simple, unincentivized, requests for consumer information, sweepstakes drive consumers to provide their information to a given business by offering entrants the chance to win prizes and other benefits.

Despite their utility as a means for building a customer database, businesses must remember to provide a privacy policy in connection with each sweepstakes in order to ensure that consumers are kept fully informed as to the information collection, use and sharing policies of the subject sweepstakes operators. In addition to the general obligation to include a privacy policy that complies with applicable legal requirements and best practices (see, also, here), sweepstakes operators must also ensure that all required disclosures are made in connection with any intention to use the name, likeness and/or biographical information of winners in connection with marketing the subject sweepstakes and/or brand.

Are Privacy Policies Necessary for Sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes Privacy Policies

Failure to include a legally compliant privacy policy while marketing a given sweepstakes promotion could seriously undermine the ability of a business to fully utilize the consumer information collected in connection with a given contest. With the right privacy policy in place, and other consent language included at the point of data collection, sweepstakes operators can build a database of consumers that can be contacted through e-mail marketing efforts and, where permitted by law, mobile/text message marketing. Absent a privacy policy and obtaining requisite consent, however, use of entrant data for marketing purposes would likely violate applicable state and federal law.

Many sweepstakes operators desire to use the name, likeness and/or biographical information of winners in order to further promote the sweepstakes itself, or in connection with marketing the sweepstakes operator’s products and/or services. However, without the proper disclosures in the promotion contest rules, as well as the associated privacy policy itself, the use of a winner’s information in such a manner could be deemed to violate that winner’s publicity, privacy and other proprietary rights. Please be advised that certain jurisdictions, such as the State of Tennessee, may require additional consumer consent above and beyond the proper disclosures in the privacy policy/contest rules in order to use a resident’s name and/or likeness.

Ensuring that Your Sweepstakes Privacy Policy Complies with All Legal Requirements

Given the considerable value inherent in a database of engaged consumers, it is vital that sweepstakes sponsors take the time to ensure that would-be sweepstakes entrants are provided with a clear, comprehensive and legally compliant privacy policy in order to ensure that the sweepstakes sponsors can make the most of the sweepstakes-related consumer database.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or require the preparation of a privacy policy in connection with your sweepstakes promotion, please e-mail us at info@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.