If you’re running a text-to-win or sweepstakes, abbreviated rules are required by several states’ statutes. This means having an abbreviated version of your official rules on your display. You simply can’t run a campaign without these abbreviated rules if you want your text-to-win to be considered legal.
Abbreviated rules aren’t restricted to certain types of vendors. In fact, they are required simply because you are running an SMS marketing campaign. The abbreviated rules must also be made available prior to entry into your sweeps.
Here is the scoop on abbreviated rules so that you know what to include with your sweeps.
Special Restrictions for Alcohol Vendors
For alcohol vendors, there are 7 states that require that your text-to-win abbreviated rules be approved by an Alcohol Control Board. These states are:
- Alabama (AL)
- Indiana (IN)
- Maine (ME)
- Maryland (MD)
- North Carolina (NC)
- Vermont (VT)
- West Virginia (WV)
Abbreviated Rules Examples
One thing you also need to keep in mind that most statutes require that these abbreviated rules appear at a size that is “clear and conspicuous.”
As you draft your abbreviated rules, you should also make sure to follow common abbreviations of your original phrases to ensure that your abbreviated rules meet legal specifications.
Here are some examples below:
- “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A Purchase Will Not Increase Your Chances of Winning a Prize.” abbreviated to “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY”
- “Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States and District of Columbia” abbreviated to “Legal resident of the U.S.”
- “Sweepstakes begins at 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2017 and ends at 12:00 p.m. EST on April 30, 2017” abbreviated to “Sweepstakes begins on 2/1/17 and ends 4/30/17.”
- “You must be 18 or older to enter” abbreviated to “At least 18.”
These are just a few ways to write abbreviated rules if you have space restrictions.
Also keep in mind they need to be just as clear as the official rules. So avoid using any abbreviations that use unclear language.
Further Considerations for Drafting Abbreviated Rules
Certain states, including New York, Rhode Island, and Arizona also require that you register your sweep with the appropriate regulatory agency if the prizes are over certain dollar amounts.
While our platform suggests ideas on how to draft abbreviated rules for your text-to-win campaign, you should still consult a lawyer to make sure that you’ve covered all of the bases.
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