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Net Talk • Contests... legal?
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Contests... legal?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:17 am
by apdc
Hi,
I'm launching an Internet radio station this fall and we're interested in doing giveaways with sponsors. For example, caller 13 gets a gift card to a restaurant. We have all of the hardware 100% functional to do it, and the means to write a full page of contest rules, but I don't know what we need regarding the law to do this. FM radio stations require Social Security information from winners, but since the government does not directly control the Internet, do we have to take any other steps to make this happen? In theory we could have a giveaway right now, but I want to make sure it's 100% legal. :?: Any tips appreciated!

Thanks! :D
Jesse

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:14 pm
by Toby95Q
The only time a winner has to supply any info for documentation is when a prize is valued at over $700.

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:58 pm
by corneo
Just find out what the state your broadcasting in says about give aways. Your a business and you have to follow the same laws any other business does, even though your on the internet. Read local contest rules from major companies to understand what I'm saying

As far as the feds are concerned, they want to know the value of the prize so they can tax the winner on the value. So you need the S.S. # of the winner to report it. Like a game show on T.V., they win the prize but have to pay taxes on it before they get the prize.

Most likely, you can fly under the radar since I doubt your prizes will be big money.

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:07 am
by vanaja
Your documentation should be strong related to contest

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:27 pm
by tazybaba
they want to know the value of the prize so they can tax the winner on the value. So you need the S.S. # of the winner to report it. Like a game show on T.V., they win the prize but have to pay taxes on it before they get the prize......!!!

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:40 pm
by dwc151
It's not radio, so you don't have to worry about the stuff a real radio station would. All you have to worry about is IRS regulations, which require reporting of prizes over $700. Give away all the stuff you want to anyone you want.

I think you're being very optimistic when you're thinking you'll get 13 callers though.

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:37 am
by apdc
Thanks for your advice. 13 was just an example, though. :)

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:01 pm
by scorpionradiogroup
Despite many comments to the contrary, conteststing on an internet radio station is subject to most of same the rules you would have if you were running the same contest on a terrestrial station. IRS regulations require a 1099/W9 for prizes awarded to a give person over $700.00 in value in a given tax year. That is a cumulative total for the year! I would recommend getting 1099/W9 information from every winner just as you would a terrestrial station. If you are planning on using facebook in ANY way to either promote or actually contest using facebook responses...you MUST follow facebook's rules for contesting or they will block your contest and ban your station's use of their platform. Remember most of the rules are legals...1 winner per 30 days per family, no employee winners, over 18 years old, etc. etc. It is simply good business to make sure your contests are planned out, pre-promoted, well organized, well executed, and post-promoted. While there are no requirements to do so , Contest Rules and Proceedures should be published on your website. You promote promote promote...letting potential contestants know when you are going to be running your contest via all of your Social Media Outlets. Post-Promote what you did and who won the contest with audio. Remember you are competing with terrestrial stations for listeners, you have to do things at least as well as they do! finally, due to the nature of the listener usage of Internet Radio...don't do "Caller 9 Wins" contesting. Dovetail your contests into your listener's lifestyles and listening habits. (Steele)

Re: Contests... legal?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:02 pm
by apdc
Thank you so much for the very useful information!