Hard Rock Cafe London censured over Twitter competitions

The Hard Rock Café in London has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over its use of competitions on Twitter.

The music themed restaurant chain drew three complaints to the ASA over two promotional tweets that it sent out.

The first post read: "@HardRockLondon A cheeky #WinWednesday for you - tell us your dream Burger topping to #WIN a meal for 2 @HardRockLondon #HappyHumpDay".

While the second post that received complaints stated: "@HardRockCafeMRC RT & follow @HardRockCafeMCR to win this T signed by @Slash & tix to see him @Phones4uArena #Manchester 28 Nov!"

The complaints centred around the claim that conditions of promotions should have been provided, that some were omitted from posts and that the prizes were not awarded with the law of chance or by random results.

The brand claimed that it was operating under US or global Twitter guidelines and that because of the limited number of characters offered by the platform, it was unable to include terms and conditions.

It added that it had halted Twitter prize promotions until the requirements of the CAP Code could be met and acknowledged that no closing date was included in the first promotion, but that another winner at random was selected and announced through Twitter.

In regards to the second tweet, it provided screenshots of tweets to prove that a closing date and winner announcement was sent on 16 November 2014, and that tweets explaining how winners would be selected at random followed up those who retweeted or followed the account. The winner was also notified privately through a direct message.

The company also claimed to use www.randomizer.org to select winners.

The ASA upheld the complaints over the promotion and the lack of specification over certain conditions, including how the winner would be notified, or that terms and conditions could be found elsewhere.

Also that the second tweet did not state how results would be made available or that terms and conditions would apply, and that neither promotion had communicated those to consumers in advance of entering or made easily accessible.

As a result, neither promotion is allowed to appear again, with Hard Rock Café UK also being rold to clearly communicate significant conditions before time of entry and that future prizes were awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and by an independent person.

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