No purchase necessary? What’s the social policy reasoning behind that?

society

Okay, this may seem like one of my wacky entries, but I’m actually serious here:

1) What’s the compelling public policy behind prohibiting companies from requiring purchases as part of a sweepstakes? In other words, why must companies always offer a “No Purchase Necesary” method for entering contests, such a submitting a postcard with one’s name and mailing address, yadda yadda.

2) Have you or someone you know actually entered contests in this way?

3) If so, have you or someone you know actually WON something in this context?

7 comments… add one
  • andrea Sep 24, 2008

    Oprah did a show on a lady who for a second job found these sweepstakes and would enter them… she would use bright colored paper and fold them all funny like. The list of thins she won were out of this world. including a million $, but she just worked it like a part time job and made so much money that if you had the patience it would be worth wile. she said she found most of the contest online or on the back of boxes of cereal and such… i think it is strange that they have to give the entry free to a person but at the same time if you cant buy something because of an allergy then maybe you should still be allowed to enter? andrea… food for thought…

  • Random Guy Sep 25, 2008

    It has to with lottery laws.  If you require purchase, it is a lottery.

  • keith Oct 28, 2008

    Yeh I have won a via the NPN route.  It was free post and I sent in over 3000 entries.  I got a pair of police sunglasses.  Not the ?10000 first prize but for no cost what so ever (I printed the entries on free paper) I got a pair of sunglasses.  Not so good for the promoter who incurred the cost of letters at around ?400.  But it is possible.  You just have to remember that you are against 1000s of others, legit and like me who play the system

  • Bob Dec 1, 2008

    I work for a sweeps company and can promise you that using bright envelopes or adding sparkles to your letter does not help at all. The process is 100% random if it is a sweeps.

  • Adam May 24, 2009

    Andrea, that’s pretty fascinating (and surprising)… though contradicted by Bob below.  Bob, maybe her friend was entering contests from other companies run by prize-awarders with ADD? (“oooo, look, shiny!” :-P). 

    Random Guy, very good point… hadn’t thought of that.

    Keith… my goodness, I hope they were really really really good sunglasses 😀

  • Lynn Jul 20, 2009

    I recently entered a contest online through a cigarette company and I didnt buy anything and I wont a prize.

  • Joshua Dec 4, 2009

    I entered a contest online using the no purchase links in the official rules.  I won on the fith entry last summer, and the first entry today.  2 prizes 2 sweepstakes, 1 company Slurpee nation.

What do you think?