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March 30, 2010 – 7:31pm twitter contest rules

I’ve wondered what the rules and regulars are surrounding holding a contest in which prizes are given away based on “tweeted” entries. Many years ago a business of mine sponsored a large-scale sweepstakes, and besides the “no purchase necessary” clause, we had to accept hand entries via mail. Here is a snippet of some official rules to one such twitter contest. If you or your clients plan on using a scheme like this for marketing purposes, it may come in handy. Obviously I am not a lawyer (“IANAL”) so if you plan on running a similar contest make sure you cover your bases!

The sponsor of this promotion is XXX (“Sponsor”).

The promotion will begin at [date] and end at [date].

The prizes are [prize description] with a retail value of [price] (“Prizes”). The Prizes will be shipped to the winners within 3 – 6 weeks of the promotion closing date. The winner is responsible for any taxes associated with receipt of the Prizes. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute the Prizes with other prizes of equal or greater value if the Prizes are not available for any reason.

To enter the promotion, the entrant must follow Sponsor’s Twitter account located at the URL [url] from their own Twitter account. The entrant must then issue the status update from their Twitter account shown on the promotion page located at the URL[url]. Each entry will apply to the daily drawing held on the day (24-hour period starting at 12am EDT) that the Twitter status update is posted. Only one entry per day is allowed. The entrant’s Twitter updates must not be protected during the promotion period. Entrants may sign-up for their own Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup.

One winner will be selected randomly from all the valid entries each day of the promotion. Sponsor will notify the winner via a Twitter direct message from the Sponsor’s Twitter account. If the winner does not respond within three (3) days, he or she will forfeit the Prizes and another winner will be randomly chosen. Each entrant can win a maximum of one (1) prize.

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Employees of Sponsor and family members of such employees are not eligible to enter.

By participating in this promotion, entrants agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor from any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the promotion.

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