How fair are promotional contests?
In the last few months I have seen several travel related promotional contests happening; for many international destinations by different tourism boards and airlines.
The result for one of them was announced on January 10th, 2014. They were to announce two lucky winners and they did so. I did not participate so came to know of it only yesterday night. Thanks to my fellow readers who participated.
Who would not want to be a winner?
I am told, there were more than 48,000 people who participated and played the game as per the rules. Call it lack of transparency … If you read T&C, it is not clear how the winners will be chosen but the participants were given the impression by the organizers that more they play & comment, the more they have chances for a win. So some played more than 250 times giving all correct answers to increase their chances.
After the results are announced, there is a furore amongst the participants..
Two ‘famous’ travel bloggers are selected as winners.
That brings us to the question of this post!
How fair are these promotional contests?
On asking about the method of selection of the winners, the organizers said they “drew lots” which itself is questionable since it is NOT mentioned anywhere that they will draw lots to select the winners.
Now comes the best part!
Any sane person can see the probability of getting the combination of only these two bloggers as winners out of those 40K+ people in a draw of lots is VERY VERY rare! Nearly impossible.
Frankly, it looks FIXED.
Oh wait! Why am I raising this issue when I haven’t even participated? I could’ve have kept mum diplomatically (Since I know these two bloggers personally).
I am totally against any backdoor entry or climbing the ladder with contacts or by any other such method.
I am a travel blogger myself and I also get invited by different tourism boards & airlines.
I declare about it at the beginning of my trips. I believe in doing my work honestly & professionally and till date it has paid me well. I am of the opinion that if I am good enough, they’ll invite me to work with them.
Dear contest holding Organization, it is okay to have business deals with bloggers but come out openly. You are anyway sponsoring the trip for them, why not invite them directly in a FAM trip? Why do you fool thousands of others who participate diligently, by faking a contest and declaring winners of your choice.
It’s a FRAUD!
And dear bloggers, we all know this can not happen unless both sides are party to it. So, stop faking your ‘win’ by saying you “participated and won the contests”. The real participants never saw you both playing or commenting at the battlefield even once!
This is not the first time I have seen bloggers indulging in these activities.
Update as on Jan 17th- A person from the tourism dept of the host country called and admitted that there was a mistake. So did the organizers. But since the earlier ‘winners (travel bloggers)’ had already announced their ‘win’ on social media, it was not possible for anyone to go back. So the organizers offered one more draw of lots (they prefer to call it bonus draw) with a third party tool Random.org which took place yesterday. They chose one more winner and unlike the earlier ‘draw’ this time the result of lucky draw was transparent to all.
My heartiest congratulations to the REAL winner Mr. Digant Gandhi. The organizers have been requested to put his photo along with the other two ‘winners’ but it seems while they had bloggers’ photos ready with them, they don’t have the actual winner’s. That also shows the planning & conspiracy behind this cheating.
Update as on Feb 16th- This is Feb 16th, 2014. Even after a month the organizers have failed to put a photo of the REAL winner on their page while the two fake winners are off to Australia!!
Update:- The organizing PR company has been fired by the tourism board. 😀
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