Three Ireland, through their Facebook page, offered followers the opportunity to enter a competition. They provided the following information:
“We have none other than Paul O’Connell's Jersey to give away. Describe Paul in 3 words to be in with a chance of winning. #AllItTakes”.
The complainant said that he entered the competition on 24th October 2015. On 30th October he received a message from Three Ireland to inform him that he had been selected as a finalist and would be entered into a draw with a chance to win the jersey. Over a period of three weeks the complainant continued to make contact with the advertisers to see if he had been successful in winning the jersey. He was informed that they only contacted the winner and if he had not been contacted by them, then he was not the winner. The complainant was concerned that the winner had not been announced and queried whether the competition had been run in accordance with the rules of the ASAI Code.
The advertisers said that their promotion had been fairly run and the entries had been independently judged by a third party who liaised with the shortlisted entries to the competition by SMS. They said that the independent agency who had judged the competition had advised them of the name of the winner and that the jersey had been sent to that person. The advertisers provided the winner’s name to the Authority.
The advertisers said that while the name of the winner had not been posted publicly at the time, going forward they would publicly announce the names of the winners to their competitions to prevent similar complaints arising again.
The Executive of the ASAI noted that the name of the winner to the competition was in fact the complainant and they made contact with him to see if he had received his prize. The complainant said that he had not received it. The Executive liaised with the advertisers again who in turn contacted the third party involved in the running of the competition and the complainant was provided with his prize.
Further comments from the advertiser:
In regards to the fact that the complainant was in fact the winner of the jersey, Three Ireland stated that this situation had arisen due to human error where there was a fall down in communication among the team. They apologised for the error and have implemented a status tracker for future competition winners.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the advertisers’ explanation in relation to why the complainant (the winner) had not received the prize. They also noted that they had put in place procedures to ensure that such a situation would not recur.
Whilst noting that the advertisers had also amended their procedures so that the identity of winners would be disclosed in future promotions, they had not provided this information when requested to do so in this case. In the circumstances, the Committee considered the promotion to be in breach of section 3.32 of the Code.
In view of the steps being taken by the advertisers no further action was necessary in this case.