Posted 15.08.16 by: Kevin Savage
Please pay attention to how you phrase your lobbying communications. At the risk of keep banging on, you must not say; “Vote for us for your chance to win a prize” or imply a voter can only win by voting for you.
We are receiving an increasing number of emails and telephone calls from disgruntled members of the public complaining they have received emails or read social media posts - from a small number of companies - that contain the offending copy. With accusations this is tantamount to bribery, we have to address these complaints as a matter of urgency.
Travel industry awards generally have a dubious reputation with many observers questioning how the results are determined. The British Travel Awards has set itself above such suspicion by constantly adhering to its three founding principles of transparency, integrity and independence; it is in everyone’s interest that these values are adhered to.
The British Travel Awards is recognised by the public as the true benchmark of excellence and we will not compromise this position due to the inaccuracies of a few over-enthusiastic copy writers. We appreciate the attraction of using the voter prize incentive as a hook for your customers to vote; and how, “Vote for us for your chance to win a prize” scans so much better than, “Everyone who votes, whoever they vote for, is entered into the prize draw”. Especially if you are conveying this message as a tweet with 140-character limit - when about 25 will be eaten up if you include a url and that’s before attaching any image.
To avoid any further infringements here are a couple of examples of acceptable twitter posts (you can compose your own but the context of the message must remain the same):
Chance to win great prizes #voteBTA16 regardless of who for - but we’d love it to be us! [link]
Everyone who #voteBTA16 entered in prize draw. We’re nominees and would like your vote [link]
Example of acceptable email content relating to the prize draw:
Everyone who takes the trouble to vote in the 2016 British Travel Awards is entered into a free prize draw, with some great prizes up for grabs, [author to select]
Full list of prizes here
[Nominee] is nominated for [insert award category(s)] and we’d really appreciate your vote.
The Vote for Us button will take you to the voting form. [insert button]
Please note: Everyone who votes in the British Travel Awards is entered into the prize draw regardless of who they vote for. Voting for [insert nominee] is not a condition of entering the draw.
We sincerely hope that all nominees will appreciate the importance of playing by the rules and no further action will be required on our part or by Deloitte - the awards adjudicators - to introduce measures requiring adjustments to votes received as the result of misinformation.