An Instagram post by Get the Gloss stated “GIVEAWAY TIME We’ve got a treat in store for you today as we’ve teamed up with British beauty bosses @bloomandblossom to give you and a friend the chance to win a self-care bundle worth over £140 EACH! If you love natural bodycare, problem solving beauty and wellness products that make you go ahh. Then listen up …” and “To win, all you have to do is tag a friend and both follow @getthegloss and @bloomandblossom for you and your tagged friend to both win the same prize! For an extra chance to win share the giveaway on your IG Story”.
Underneath the text was a list of prizes and a link to the T&Cs, followed by some bullet points stating: “Please tag a friend, and both follow @getthegloss and @bloomandblossom for an extra chance to win share the giveaway on your IG Stories with your friend tagged”; “You must be over 16 to enter”; “No purchase is necessary”; “You can tag as many friends as you like but only one per comment”; “You can enter as many times as you like but there are no multiple winners and only two prizes to give away”; “You and your friend must be resident in the UK and have a UK registered address”; “The closing date is midnight Saturday 13th February 2021”; “Two winners will be picked at random and be informed by DM”; and “Prizes will be dispatched directly by Bloom and Blossom”.
One person challenged whether the promotion was administered fairly, because they didn't believe it was possible to track who had shared the post as an Instagram Story and who would therefore qualify for an extra entry.... but when the ASA investigated the promotion, it turned out that was just the glossy French tip of the ice berg (to mix a couple of unmixable metaphors).
Bellatricks Ltd, trading as Get The Gloss, said that the winners were selected from comments on the promotional Instagram post. They said a winner was selected by a member of staff by scrolling through the post’s comments without looking and where their finger landed selected the winner and their tagged friend.
They then checked both Instagram accounts to check that they were following Get the Gloss and Bloom and Blossom. If the selected winner did not meet the promotion’s entry criteria, the process was repeated until an eligible entry was found. Get the Gloss said they then checked their direct messages on Instagram to see whether a post had been shared to their story with Get the Gloss tagged.
Ah, the old closed-eye, pointy-finger technique...
The ASA was not amused. They concluded that:
"The CAP Code requires promoters of prize draws to ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and, unless winners were selected by a computer process that produced verifiably random results, by an independent person, or under the supervision of an independent person.
"The ASA understood that to enter the promotion, participants were required to tag a friend in the post’s comment section, with both accounts also required to follow the Get the Gloss and Bloom and Blossom Instagram accounts. The terms of the promotion explained that participants could submit a bonus entry by sharing the post as an Instagram Story. We understood that the prize winner was selected by a member of staff scrolling through the post’s comments and selecting one manually, before verifying whether that individual had met the entry requirements."
Pointing the finger, the ASA stated that: "The winner was therefore not selected by a computer process that produced verifiably random results, and was not selected by an independent person, nor were we aware that the selection was under the supervision of an independent person.
"The promotion allowed entrants to qualify for a bonus entry by sharing the promotional post as an Instagram Story. However, because they had selected a potential winner by picking a comment on the promotional post and then verifying whether other entry conditions were met, we understood that it would not have been possible for Get the Gloss to have awarded any of the eligible entrants bonus entries before selecting a prize winner. We therefore considered those who had met the criteria for a bonus entry would not increase their chances of winning the prize by doing so.
"For those reasons we concluded that the promotion was not administered fairly and therefore breached the Code."
A winner was selected by a member of staff by scrolling through the post’s comments without looking and where their finger landed selected the winner and their tagged friend...