Yet another property raffle promotion has been banned by the advertising watchdog.
Raffle House was promoted on Facebook and on its website last November but two complainants challenged how fair it was because they said the method of entry was changed during the promotion, from ‘pay before play’.
The ASA itself challenged whether the absence of a closing date was a breach of the advertising code.
Raffle House told the ASA that one change meant that consumers could pay for a ticket after answering a multi-choice question correctly, rather than buying the ticket before attempting to answer the question.
It said that it had created a “fair and equitable” environment for customers affected by the change, as they had been given free entry to the competition as well as being entered into a cash give-away.
Raffle House said it had received complaints about its previous ‘pay before play’ model.
Raffle House said that the Facebook post did not have a closing date on it, but Facebook followers would already have been aware of this.
The complaints were however upheld. The ASA said that because Raffle House had given older entrants free entry to the prize draw, this was unfair to new participants.
The closing date should have been given, the ASA also said.
It added that during the course of its investigation, it found that the closing date had been extended from last June to this. The ASA said this was also a breach.
Last week, the ASA also uphold complaints about another ‘win a house’ promotion.
Win a Mega Home Ltd had advertised a draw for a £3m home in the New Forest, with the runner up winning an Aston Martin.
Eighteen people said that the prizes or reasonable equivalents had not been awarded and complained to the ASA.
Win a Mega Home Ltd said that actual tickets sales had fallen significantly below what was expected, and were just over £737,000. After the 25% retention specified in the conditions, and costs were deducted, it left a prize of £110,070.
The ASA said this was not a reasonable equivalent to a £3m house and that no prize had been awarded to a runner up.
The complaints were upheld.
The ASA has received a string of complaints about win a house’ promotions – often run to avoid estate agents’ fees – and last year issued specific advice on the subject.