ASA still on the fence on identifying prize winners

Written on 30 Oct 2018

The Advertising Standards Authority has still not followed up on its announcement some months ago regarding the CAP Code rule on publishing the name and county of prize draw and competition winners.

This has been a requirement under the Code for many years, and is one of a number of Code provisions designed to give the public confidence that prize promotions are conducted fairly and property, and that prizes are in fact awarded. However, the advent of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 have raised questions about whether this is consistent with data protection law.

Pending its review of the issue, the ASA announced that it would suspend enforcement of this Code rule. The regulator has not yet announced the outcome of its review. Until then, companies running prize draws or competitions will need to consider whether it is appropriate for them to publish the names and counties of winners, and the legal basis for doing so under the GDPR if they do. It is to be hoped that the ASA will move quickly on this, as “legitimate interest” arguments may be weakened while the CAP Code requirement is suspended.