• 55 minutes

Conducting Prize Promotions Through Social Media


Contests and social media/UGC promotions have many of the same issues as traditional sweepstakes, BUT they present unique issues as well.

The tests for whether a mixed game is truly chance or skill may vary by state but a number of states do not permit consideration in skill contests, e.g., AR, CO, FL, MD (VT until last year). Rules drafting considerations include judging criteria, where the nature and value of each should be clear - do not inadvertently insert chance into the process. Judges must be objective, qualified, and must follow the judging criteria. While voting adds interest it increases the possibility of fraud and hacking as well. Social media platform rules do not necessarily give you the rights you need so you need to determine what rights you want. This video discusses recent case law and FTC endorsement guildines.

Runtime: 54 minutes



Melissa Landau Steinman

Melissa Landau Steinman

Venable LLP

  • Partner at Venable LLP
  • Practice focuses on advertising, marketing and new media, as well as distribution antitrust
  • Counsels some of the nation’s largest CPG brands, media and technology companies, hospitality chains and retailers on advertising and promotions, distribution, pricing, warranties, product safety and other matters
  • Represents clients in private and government litigation, and before self-regulatory bodies such as the NAD, CARU and the ESRP
  • Has extensive experience in consumer promotions law, with specialized expertise in social media, gift cards, incentives and loyalty programs, and sweepstakes and contests law
  • Frequent lecturer and writer on topics relevant to promotions and advertising law, particularly social media, prize promotions and gift card topics
  • Contributed to the American Bar Association's update of its Consumer Protection Law Handbook, the Brand Activation Association’s treatise on Promotion Marketing Law, and Globe Law and Business’ International Advertising Law, and also wrote the social media and charitable sales promotions chapters for an upcoming ABA Handbook on advertising claims substantiation
  • Speaks extensively on marketing, advertising, social media, sweepstakes, gift card and promotions topics; her commentary has appeared nationally
  • Wrote and edited the Guide to Federal and State Regulation of Advertising, a comprehensive two volume book on the law of advertising and promotions
  • Member of Board of the Brand Activation Association
  • Recognized in the 2010 to 2014 editions of Legal 500 for her work in sweepstakes and social media
  • J.D. degree, Harvard Law School; B.A. degree, cum laude, Columbia University
  • Can be contacted at 202-344-4972 or [email protected]

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