Small businesses: What should you have in your terms and conditions for online promotions?

Instagram is the new black in marketing (and has been for a while), and a powerful medium for promoting your health and wellness business. If you are looking to grow your “likes”, increase your Instagram following, and personally engage and connect your audience to your product/business, then Instagram contests and competitions are a great way to go.

From the start date of your competition, you must publish a full set of applicable terms and conditions and ensure they are readily accessible. The best way to do this is include a clear link in your Instagram post directing entrants to the terms and conditions on your webpage anddetails of how to enter the relevant competition.

Instagram rules…

Instagram directs that promotions on Instagram must include the following two terms:

  •   A complete release of Instagram by each entrant or participant, and
  •   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

Draft your terms and conditions clearly and concisely so that they address any questions about your competition…

Here is a summary of some of the basic terms and conditions you should include:

  • Details of your small business as the promoter (your company name and ABN/ACN, and registered address).
  • Describe who is eligible, and that the entrant must both enter the competition on Instagram and be willing  to follow your business on Instagram.
  • State that  the competition is open to residents of (Australia? Victoria? Or specify applicable postcodes) aged X years or over, and exclude employees of your company, close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation and/or judging of the competition.
  • Explain your Instagram entry procedure – list exactly what steps the entrant must follow, for example:

Login or sign up to Instagram. The Instagram account must be set to public.

Go to (your business/competition page) and follow.

Any further steps the entrant must complete – tag a friend, post a selfie, whether a hashtag is required and so on, and how to do this on Instagram.

  • State whether you will allow one entry per person or multiple.
  • State the closing date for entries, and confirm the  date on which no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  • Highlight that no responsibility can be accepted for late or misdirected or incomplete entries.
  • State that the promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and the terms and conditions without notice in the event of a force majeure event (for example, a catastrophe, war, act of god, anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promotors control). Make it clear that any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  • The Prize is as follows… (describe the prize here. A compelling prize does attract entries, however smaller prizes offered on a more continual basis secures a following too.)
  • Confirm  that the prize is as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.  Also include that the prize is, non-transferable, subject to availability, and that you reserve the right to substitute any prize with an equivalent value prize without notice.
  • If the prize is yoga classes for example, specify the time within which these classes must be taken.
  • Describe how the winner will be chosen (state how you will choose the winner – either at random, or if it is a game of skill.)
  • Indicate how the winner will be notified, and the time of notification after the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted/doesn’t respond for a certain amount of time, reserve the right to pick another winner.
  • Explain how the prize will be available to/delivered to/collected by the winner.
  • State that the promotorsdecision is final.
  • Highlight that the competition and terms and conditions will be governed by Australian Law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Australia.
  • State that entry into competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

If you need assistance drafting the appropriate terms and conditions for your health and wellness promotions, book a free 15-min chat here to talk with one of our solicitors.

There may be particular items that need to be included depending on the prize, and what your particular business is offering. Clear terms encourage applicants – people are discouraged by uncertainty and confusion.

This is general advice only. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

Published Apr 10, 2018


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