Contest & Promotion

The Changing Legal Scene of Contests and Promotions

Whatever channels you or your client use to bring your promotion to the public - in-store, broadcast, online, app or mobile - the promotions attorneys at Olshan will work with you to help ensure that the structural integrity of the campaign is legally sound.

Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies, advertising and promotions agencies, to in-house marketing departments, Internet entrepreneurs, start-ups and other law firms. Our clients may have widely varying resources with which to carry out their campaigns, but they all share the common goal of using the most effective and accurate means of promoting their company brand through the use of contests and promotions. Promotions, marketing and advertising law are part of Olshan's core practice. Our firm's attorneys have more than 70 years of collective experience in all areas of traditional promotional marketing, including incentive programs, retail and business promotions, coupons and rebates, sweepstakes, game play and skill contests, special event marketing, sponsorships, endorsements, online auctions, telemarketing, and email marketing.

Getting Your Game Off the Ground

Contests and promotions are exciting for all involved, but excitement can quickly turn to frustration if contestants or customers are confused or perceive the promotion to be unfair. That is why it is vitally important to structure promotions correctly from the beginning. Our promotional attorneys can assist you with:

  • Overall promotion structure and integrity,
  • Drafting of official rules,
  • Reviewing of promotional advertising copy,
  • Drafting of abbreviated rules, disclosures, and terms and conditions,
  • Coordinating sweepstakes registration and bonding,
  • Drafting sponsorships, prize fulfillment and licensing contracts,
  • Advising on viable alternative methods of entry,
  • Developing policies on privacy and data collection,
  • Conducting legal research to ensure the promotion complies with applicable laws,
  • Drafting affidavit of eligibility and release for prize winners, and
  • Advising on and assisting with winner selection.

Recent promotions include:

  • Multi-channel, in-store and radio promotions for international retailer,
  • Mobile application promotions for city and federal governments,
  • Video, essay, photo and recipe contests,
  • Television viewer sweepstakes for network and broadcast programming,
  • International competition for financial service company,
  • SMS based scavenger hunt throughout New York City,
  • Reward points program for purchasers of a product,
  • Contest for developers that was conducted in 10 countries,
  • Promotions at major sporting events such as $1 million shot on goal at an All-Star game as well as college basketball playoffs halftime contests,
  • Game-piece collection sweepstakes promotion,
  • Interactive advergames for major product retailers and travel providers,
  • Retail in-store sweepstakes,
  • SMS sweepstakes in Times Square in connection with a television broadcast viewing debut, and
  • Coupon redemption policy and rebate practices.

And today, our promotions lawyers are equally prepared to meet the unique needs of online and interactive marketers in the fast-evolving world of online sweepstakes, mobile contests, and user-generated-content contests. Some of the campaigns we have worked on include:

  • User-generated content promotions for an online community in which members selected the director and cast for a full-length feature movie, and for a major New York City theatrical event where the winner was selected in Times Square,
  • Promotion which awards cash prizes to the best mobile software applications, and
  • User-generated content promotion for popular video game software marketer.

Defense, Should a Problem Arise

We help advertisers and agencies avoid legal pitfalls by developing legal rules for local, national and international promotions. We also represent clients in regulatory investigations and lawsuits brought by competitors, governmental agencies, and private plaintiffs.  Our job is to help you avoid these challenges, but we are prepared to assist you with any situation that can arise.

The Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Group: A Predictable Cost

The Advertising, Marketing & Promotions group at Olshan offers clients the options of a fixed project-based fee, an hourly rate, or a monthly retainer relationship. Whichever method you choose, you are guaranteed access to an experienced attorney who knows sweepstakes and promotions law inside and out. For guidance on promotional marketing law, contact the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions group at (212) 451-2258. We represent direct marketing and promotion clients in New York, New Jersey, and across the U.S. and Canada.

"...a premiere choice for sweepstakes and contests work."
Chambers USA, Notable Practitioners
"...advises across the whole spectrum of contentious, regulatory and transactional matters, with a specific focus on some of the more niche areas of advertising and marketing law, including direct marketing, sweepstakes and contest law, and false advertising litigation.” 
Legal 500 USA

A legal practice focused on finding creative legal solutions to advertising challenges and compliance matters. The practice is geared to servicing the needs of the advertising, promotional marketing, and direct marketing industries with a commitment to provide personal, efficient and effective legal service.

"Praised for their experience in sweepstakes and contest law."
Chambers USA, Notable Practitioners
“Specializes in sweepstakes, advertising clearances, regulatory investigations, direct marketing law, NAD matters and mobile marketing.”
Legal 500 USA