Social media exists in almost every area of people's life. Social media accounts and followers are of great importance for many commercial actors, including large companies, world-renowned brands, SMEs and Start-ups.
Many commercial actors, especially brands that sell products online, are organizing sweepstakes through their social media accounts to increase the number of their followers. Brands that want to increase the number of followers often envisage conditions such as following their social media account, liking the content they share, tagging other users, and commenting to participate in the sweepstake. With these methods, small-scale brands that have not been heard before can have hundreds of thousands of followers. So is this legal?
First of all, the sweepstakes mentioned above are subject to the National Lottery Administration's regulation on lotteries and sweepstakes dated 04.10.2006 and there is no obligation to obtain permission for each sweepstakes. Accordingly, the following sweepstakes are not subject to permission in accordance with the relevant regulation;
- For social purposes: Sweepstakes organized by public institutions and organizations for the purpose of protecting and improving the health, education, cultural values of the society and similar purposes.
- Competition: Winners are based on information, skill or ability based on the order of success, based on the ranking of the success, or the arrangements made by a jury on the same basis, and in consequence, arrangements given in kind and / or cash, and riddles, puzzles, entertainment programs and the like.
- In cases where the fair value of the bonus to be given as a result of the sweepstake is 141.2 TL and below as of 2020,
Apart from the cases listed above, it is obligatory to obtain permission from the administration for the sweepstakes that will be held on social media for purposes such as increasing its followers in Instagram, Facebook and similar virtual environments. The promotion, sale, marketing of a good or service is essential in the sweepstakes to be held over the virtual environment, and a sweepstake for direct income cannot be organized in an virtual environment. A frequent mistake in practice is to mention whether or not there can be a certain profit if the draws are made through sponsors. In this case, the actions of the sponsors will violate the unfair competition and deceptive prohibition according to the relevant articles of the Turkish Commercial Code.
So, how to get permission?
In order to be allowed to draw, a letter of guarantee should be taken at the amount of 10% more than the total fair value of the bonuses promised in the draw. (In case the lottery period will exceed 6 months, this rate will increase.) It is necessary to apply to the National Lottery Administration Bets and Games Branch Directorate with the documents prepared in accordance with the procedure. Accordingly, an application prepared correctly and completely together with the following documents should be legally concluded within 15 days.
- Letter of Guarantee Letter
- Documents Additional to the Petition
- Sample Ad Text
- Receipt showing that the related fees have been paid (7080 TL for the draws up to 100.000 TL)