'Money for Nothing' - the Rise of the 'Professional Comper' Represents a New Threat to Marketing Promotions, Warns Leading Industry Expert

By Promoveritas, PRNE
Sunday, March 6, 2011

LONDON, March 7, 2011 - A new breed of 'professional entrant' to competitions and
prize draws threatens to affect tens of thousands of marketing campaigns
unless action is taken now by promoters.

Research by leading promotions specialist PromoVeritas shows
that 'professional compers' make an average 100 entries a week and often have
30-40 SIM cards to make it easier to enter 'Text To Win' type promotions
multiple times. They also operate in syndicates, sharing entry forms, group
buying promotional packs and tokens.

In one case, involving a frozen food on-pack promotion, a
unique code had to be entered online in order for a chance to win regular
prizes of GBP1000. Syndicates of 'hardcore compers' were staying up at all
hours of the day and night and entering thousands of codes to gain an
advantage over other entrants.

Some 'professional compers' even resort to using false names
and fake emails to improve their chances of winning, with the result that
their actions make it increasingly difficult for marketers to pick bona fide
winners or to get a return on investment from such marketing activities which
are frequently run to create a valuable database of future customers.

"And that's just the tip of the iceberg!" claims Jeremy Stern,
CEO, PromoVeritas who advises some of the UK's biggest brands on how to
ensure that marketing promotions comply with industry regulations and
ultimately help to drive incremental sales.

"Despite a liberal regulatory environment, there's still a
high level of ignorance from promoters on how to properly run the back end of
their promotions and this creates weak spots in a marketing campaign and risk
to brand reputations plus wasted budgets", he warns.

Although most 'compers' do it for fun there is a danger that
some could get hooked and end up requiring medical help.

Professor Cary Cooper, a leading organisational psychology and
health expert at Lancaster University adds: "Comping is a peculiarly British
phenomenon. And with rising unemployment some people have become more
desperate and seek alternative ways to fund a lifestyle they can't otherwise
afford. Habitual competition and prize entering can quickly take over an
individual's life because it offers significant rewards for a tantalisingly
small investment of a packet top or a magazine purchase. Unless individuals
keep in check the amount of time spent on this activity it could lead to a
form of addiction similar to gambling," he says.

For full story visit: www.promoveritas.com/PR.htm

Founded in 2002 PromoVeritas ensures the integrity and
compliance of promotions and seeks to increase their success by enhancing
consumer faith and confidence.

Core services include drafting of terms & conditions, judging
of competitions, independent winner selection for prize draws and inserting
winning tokens or code for 'Willy Wonka' style instant-win promotions, plus
independent vote verification for live TV shows such as BBC's Strictly Come
Dancing and ITV's National TV Awards.

Media Enquiries and interviews with Compers: Ardi Kolah, +44(0)208-542-8786, ard.kolah at maverick-uk.com

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