Adverts for a ‘Win A Property’ Raffle Deemed Misleading by ASA

  • Second time Raffle House has been found guilty of misleading adverts
  • Claimed previous winner had received an amount equal to £500,000 ($647,747)
  • Was revealed to have won just over £170,000 ($224,137) instead
lots of raffle tickets ready to be drawn
Adverts from a company that allowed users to buy raffle tickets to win a property have been deemed misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Raffle House in hot water

Raffle House has been taken to task by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for how they promoted a recent ‘win a property’ raffle.

While entrants were offered a chance to win a property in return for purchasing a ticket, strict marketing guidelines were found not to have been followed.

Raffle House was found to have made it seem that a previous winner won a similar value prize to the £500,000 ($647,747) property on offer

Three complaints centered over misleading information from a previous competition where a winner was given a much lesser cash prize.

In the adverts published via email, Facebook, and a blog post, Raffle House was found to have made it seem that a previous winner won a similar value prize to the £500,000 ($647,747) property on offer when she was in fact only given a cash value prize of £173,013 ($224,137).

While the ASA cannot impose any fines, all complaints have now been upheld. This means that any further marketing materials that use the same information will be banned.

The complaints

The ads in question that received complaints centered on an email that featured text stating: “With three weeks to go, our data shows that we’re now only about 6,500 entrants away from being able to guarantee the property as the prize!”

Then, a blog post on Raffle House’s website explaining how the first competition’s cash prize had been calculated was reported for misinformation.

Following this, a sponsored Facebook post was published. It said: “Be in with the chance of calling a £500,000 London property your home in 2020! Our previous winner, [winner’s name], had her life changed through Raffle House, will you be next?”

The decision

In its decision, the ASA deemed all three adverts to be misleading by incorrectly referring to the first failed competition ran earlier in the year. This centered around the prize of a £650,000 ($841,230) flat, or a reasonable equivalent, which was not awarded.

The Facebook advert faced further criticism advert for suggesting misleadingly that the person who had won such a prize was given a house of a similar value to the £500,000 ($647,747) one they currently had on offer.

Raffle House argued that the cash prize

was a reasonable equivalent given the significantly reduced odds it was won at.”

It also cited terms and conditions that stated the cash prize would equal 50% of the ticket sales, minus charity donations and other fees. All entrants agreed to these terms when entering the raffle.

The company also said that a quote used in the advert came directly from the previous winner and permission was given for it to be used in the company’s blog post.

Winning a house ‘extremely rare’

There is only one known winner of a house raffle in the UK, which happened in 2017.

Many competitions since have either failed to comply with gambling laws and have then been shut down by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), or winners have been awarded a lesser cash prize after failing to sell enough tickets.

Two complaints against Raffle House in May 2019 had previously been upheld by the ASA after the company changed the competition’s entry method and failed to include the competition’s closing date on one of its Facebook ads.