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Facebook Contests for Banks and Credit Unions Part II: Legal Considerations

OCTOBER 28, 2011: Brian Bierbaum, Vice President of Strategy and Growth
Social Media

In my blog post Facebook Contests for Banks and Credit Unions: Should You Utilize Promotions?, I covered what you can expect from a Facebook contest and questions to ask your team. This post will cover legal considerations for your contest, sweepstakes or promotion.

Contest terms and conditions are a required part of running any contest, sweepstakes or promotion for your financial institution. Facebook is no different than your other marketing channels in this regard. There are two sets of legal considerations: the standard legal ones and Facebook’s promotional guidelines. It's best to ensure you are following both sets of guidelines when running a contest.

The Standard Legal Rules Still Apply

The legalese surrounding a contest can be different for every contest or promotion and must include certain language. For example, your terms & conditions might be required to include:
  • Entry regulations based on a participant’s state or country of residence (even if your financial institution only serves one state)
  • How entries can be used by the company in the future
  • Process for selecting winners and how winners are to be notified
  • Alternative modes of entry
  • Restrictions on how certain groups an participate (for example, minors may not be able to participate in your state)

As always, check with your institution's compliance team before starting any contest, promotion or sweepstakes.

The Facebook Rules

Facebook has speci?c rules that govern the administration of contests, promotions and sweepstakes on their site and other platorms. As you may know, they update these policies frequently and with little notice. We highly suggest referring to their guidelines before launching each new contest. Also, remember you must also abide by Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Advertising Guidelines and Platform Policies.

The primary theme of Facebook's promotional guidelines is that most of Facebook’s functionality cannot be used to administer any promotion. A good question to ask yourself is "Is Facebook being perceived as a partner that condones my promotion?" If you answered yes, then you need to reevaluate your plan.

Read my next post, Facebook Contests for Banks and Credit Unions: Spreading the Word About Your Promotion.

This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.

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