Ad for raffle to win a flat in south London banned

An advert for a raffle to win a house in south London has been banned after a watchdog found the promotion had not been administered fairly.

Raffle House first launched tickets to win a one-bedroom flat in Brixton in April last year, and the winner was due to be announced at the end of June 2018.

However, the closing date was significantly extended for a second time, with a winner now to be drawn on June 30.

The Raffle House ad. (ASA/PA)
The Raffle House ad. (ASA/PA)

A Facebook post and website for Raffle House seen in November said: “Have you checked out our new play then pay process? Increase your chances to win today, risk free!”, and : “A £5 ticket to your dream home.”

Two people complained that the method of entry changed during the promotion and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated the absence of a prominent closing date.

Raffle House said it had sent an email in November last year to all customers informing them of updates which included a change in their payment process where consumers could now pay for their ticket to be entered into the prize draw after they had answered a multiple-choice question correctly.

Previously, consumers had to buy a ticket before answering the multiple-choice question and only correct answers were entered in to the draw.

It also informed customers that they had all been awarded a free entry to the property competition as well as being entered into a cash-prize giveaway.

Raffle House said the changes created a “fair and equitable environment” for those affected by the change and would avoid any disappointment.

Raffle House confirmed that the Facebook post did not have any closing date included on it.

Tickets to win the property, which Raffle House said was worth £650,000, cost £5.

The ASA said the new method of entry was unfair to those participants who entered under the original terms, as was awarding existing participants a free entry into the prize draw.

The ASA said: “We therefore concluded that the promotion had not been administered fairly and was in breach of the Code.”

It added: “We also became aware during the course of the investigation that the closing date had been extended from June 2018 to June 2019, which we considered to be a further breach of the CAP Code.

“We told Raffle House not to make further changes to the entry method of the promotion and to ensure that in future their promotions were administered fairly and that their ads for promotions included all significant terms and conditions, including a prominent closing date.”

Raffle House founder and chief executive Benno Spencer said: “The ASA identified two minor issues in our communications. Once alerted to these unintentional errors, we immediately removed the post in question.

“We’ve taken on board all the ASA’s feedback about future marketing and have taken steps to ensure any such errors don’t happen again, and with our next competition launching July 1, we’re obviously very keen to abide by all rules and guidelines.”