ASA Bans Two Twitter Campaigns by Hard Rock Cafe London

In a move that acts as a warning to brands that conduct marketing campaigns using the Twitter platform, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two promotions by Hard Rock Cafe London.

The restaurant attracted complaints by members of the public over two competition tweets they sent out. The complaints were based on the fact that Terms and Conditions were not provided and that it was not clear the prizes were awarded through a random draw.

In response to their censure, Hard Rock Cafe London claimed it operated its competition promotions under US or global Twitter guidelines, they were not able to supply T&C's because of the character limitation of tweets and they use www.randomizer.org to select winners.

They have confirmed however that their Twitter prize promotions have been suspended until the requirements of the CAP Code are met, and acknowledged that while no closing date was included in the first promotion, a randomly selected winner was announced through Twitter.

Regarding their second tweet promotion, the company provided screenshots of tweets to prove that a closing date and winner announcement was sent out on 16 November 2014, that follow-up tweets explaining how winners would be selected at random were sent to those who retweeted or followed the account, and that the winner was notified privately via a direct message.

The ASA has banned both promotions in their current format and have also cautioned Hard Rock Cafe UK to clearly communicate T&C's before time of entry and confirm that prizes are awarded in accordance with the Laws of Chance.

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