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Is Your Social Media Contest Breaking The Law?

social media contestIn this episode of The Social Scoop Podcast we discuss whether your social media contest is breaking the law in our interview with Steve Szentesi, a Canadian lawyer with a list of specialties that includes advertising and marketing laws. He runs a popular blog, Canadian Advertising & Marketing Law, in addition to another website solely dedicated to competition and regulatory law.

Although Steve is a Canadian lawyer, the topics covered here will be beneficial to you no matter where you are. We cover a few common mistakes that businesses make online and provide a few comprehensive tips to ensure your next social media contest is legal.

Here are some of the topics we discussed on the show:

  • The 5 most common illegal contest mistakes by businesses running contests online and over social media
  • Apple’s sneaky legal restrictions on giving away iPads & iPhones that nobody knows about (and could get you in trouble)
  • One mistake that cost a business $170,000 in fines
  • Two major components to ensuring your social media contest is legal
  • The basic rules you legally need to include in ANY contest
  • The legalities surrounding the use of third party materials
  • Real-world examples of companies that have experienced legal issues with their social media contests
  • A few ways to tell if your advertising would be considered false or misleading
  • What you can and can’t legally use information for that you collect in a contest
  • The social networks with the most and least strict policies for contests
  • YouTube’s quirky rule about using entrant information
  • What Facebook expects you to say when you run a contest
  • How Quebec’s strict rules could provide an opportunity for businesses
  • Is your social media contest actually an illegal lottery?
  • General advice for Americans or businesses from other countries running a social media contest in Canada
  • What you should know if you have a global audience on social media

Important Message For Canadians

All Canadians need to be aware of significant changes happening to anti-spam laws on July 1st that will significantly affect the way you do business on the web, especially if your email list is a big part of your online marketing strategy.

The new anti-spam law, otherwise known as CASL, is a major change to combat spam affecting Canadians. The government plans to strictly enforce this new law and can result in enormous fines for every individual offense.

Listen to the podcast to hear Canadian marketing and advertising law expert Steve Szentesi discuss:

  • How this affects your email list (VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • Do you comply with the requirements on your email list?
  • How that affects email lists you’ve already accumulated
  • Is your double opt-in email list good enough for the new law?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode