The regulation of sweepstakes, contests and other promotional programs can involve both federal and state laws, depending on several factors, including the type of promotion being offered, to whom it is directed, where it will be available, and the type and value of prizes. With such complex regulations governing sweepstakes, working with a legal team that is deeply familiar with this specialized area of the law is crucial.
Thompson Coburn’s Sweepstakes Law practice area regularly assists clients with the planning and creation of sweepstakes, contests and promotions so they can avoid the application of certain regulations and comply with applicable state and federal requirements. Thompson Coburn also offers clients our proprietary Sweepstakes Creator Program (click here
to access the Sweepstakes Creator). This online program allows clients to submit their ideas for a sweepstakes or contest, which the Sweepstakes Law practice area transforms into all of the legal documents necessary to implement the promotion, such as the official rules, advertising disclaimer, publicity/liability release affidavit and registration filings (if needed). In most instances all of these materials are prepared within 24 hours.
Our attorneys have a thorough knowledge of federal statutes, such as the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair methods of competition and fraudulent and deceptive advertising. In addition, our Sweepstakes Law attorneys have a wealth of experience interpreting the federal laws that apply to promotional programs, including the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act; Direct Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act; CAN SPAM; and the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. They also are very knowledgeable about state laws regulating sweepstakes and contests, including those that require certain sweepstakes be registered and bonded.
The Sweepstakes Law practice area has created hundreds of sweepstakes and contests of virtually every size and type – and in a variety of media. For example, our lawyers have created promotions that involve games of chance, scratch-off cards, writing and photography competitions; children’s video game contests (COPPA-compliant); professional sports events, NASCAR races; personal appearance and classroom makeover contests, texting and tag recognition programs and many, many more. These promotions have appeared in national magazines and newspapers, national television and radio networks, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and numerous blogs. The practice area has also created promotions for celebrities’ product endorsements, authors’ book-signing tours, international charities, trade associations and television and radio stations.