Blog Giveaway Laws: Are Your Blog Giveaways Illegal?

Do you know enough about blog giveaway laws? If you’re a blogger that does giveaways, you really should make sure you understand them.

I love doing giveaways on my blog. Since I own a business, my giveaways are a great way to introduce my brand and products. Plus, I love the thrill it gives my readers!

But since I started my giveaways I’ve done some reading regarding the blog giveaway laws and rules. We’ve all heard about disclosure when we’re given products to review, right? Well, there are laws regarding giveaways as well, and judging from the number of infringing blogs I’ve seen (including mine!), I think we need to get the word out!

Blog Giveaway Laws: Understanding the Types of Giveaways
In the US, there are three types of “giveaways”:

Sweepstakes – winners are chosen by luck of the draw. (This is usually the type of “giveaways” blogs do.)
Contests – winner is chosen based on some merit or skill. Examples include photo contests, essay contests, etc..
Lottery – prize drawing where people have to pay money to enter.
Things get a bit more complicated when you open your giveaways to Canada and other countries. Canadian law states that they cannot enter any sweepstakes (luck of the draw). There must be an element of skill displayed. And yes – if you are a US blog you must comply by Canadian laws if you want to include your Canadian readers.

This is why I don’t include Canadian readers in most of my giveaways. Sorry, guys! I think you’re awesome, really I do!

There is much more involved, and I urge you to read this very informative article by Social Media Examiner. It lays out the laws pretty clearly.

Bottom line – be mindful of your giveaways and try to play by the rules. While many people get away with not following them, they’re taking a risk.