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Contest Creator

Contest Creator

Gowling WLG

Date: December 14, 2021

Gowling's Contest Creator is a simple solution to generate the rules required for promotional contests in Canada, supported by Gowling's comprehensive expertise.

PV10198
$78.53
Sold by number of jurisdictions covered. Each province or territory in Canada is a jurisdiction.
Jurisdictions
Price
Single-province/territory, excluding Quebec
$78.53
Multi-province/territory, excluding Quebec
$237.96
Single- or multi province/territory, including Quebec
$396.60
All

Author's Note

Contest Creator by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP (“ Gowling ”) generates rules for promotional contests run in Canada. By leading you through an automated questionnaire, Contest Creator gathers the information needed to create a draft set of rules for a promotional contest in Canada. The questionnaire includes embedded guidance and instructions for answering the questions accurately, and warns the user when a proposed answer could raise issues. The draft set of rules can then be reviewed by legal counsel, along with warnings regarding sections that require particular attention. In the end, the Contest Creator streamlines what was previously a burdensome, time consuming and costly process. As one of the largest law firms in Canada, Gowling has comprehensive experience in Canadian contest laws and has developed best practices. A simple solution for Canadian promotional contests Contests are highly regulated in Canada. Before launching a contest, sponsors need to ensure that the...

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v4-Winner-of-Precedent-Award-badgeContest Creator by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP (“Gowling”) generates rules for promotional contests run in Canada. By leading you through an automated questionnaire, Contest Creator gathers the information needed to create a draft set of rules for a promotional contest in Canada. The questionnaire includes embedded guidance and instructions for answering the questions accurately, and warns the user when a proposed answer could raise issues. The draft set of rules can then be reviewed by legal counsel, along with warnings regarding sections that require particular attention. In the end, the Contest Creator streamlines what was previously a burdensome, time consuming and costly process.

As one of the largest law firms in Canada, Gowling has comprehensive experience in Canadian contest laws and has developed best practices.

A simple solution for Canadian promotional contests

Contests are highly regulated in Canada. Before launching a contest, sponsors need to ensure that the contest is designed with the many laws governing Canadian contests in mind, including:

  • Criminal Code
  • Competition Act
  • Quebec Charter of the French Language
  • Quebec Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests and amusement machines
  • Privacy laws
  • Intellectual property laws.

Ultimately, a contest’s official rules form a binding legal contract between the sponsor and each entrant. To meet the legal requirements that govern a contest, as well as formalize the sponsor’s rights and limited liability in the course of its administration, comprehensive rules need to be developed to govern every contest. However, drafting legally compliant contest rules traditionally is a complex process that requires considerable input and oversight from legal counsel. Relevant details must be consolidated and legal requirements must be applied before proceeding to drafting the contest rules provisions. This can be burdensome, time-consuming and costly.

Contest Creator offers a streamlined method for developing contest rules, which can thereafter be quickly reviewed by legal counsel (and, as applicable, filed with the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (the “Régie”) in Quebec and translated to French – for more details on these requirements that may apply to a contest open in Quebec developed using Contest Creator, see the FAQ ‘What are the special rules for promotional contests in Quebec?’ below). 

Once you've purchased Contest Creator on PartnerVine, you will have access to Gowling's Contest Creator to answer questions about your contest and generate one set of rules. You may purchase access for:

v9-Contest-Creator-instructions-01

  • a single-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec,
  • a multiple province/ territory contest, excluding Quebec, or
  • a single- or multiple province/territory contest, including Quebec.

When you enter Contest Creator, you can specify the particular jurisdiction(s) where you'd like to run your contest, based on the jurisdiction(s) you've purchased.

Contest Creator leads you through an automated questionnaire that includes guidance and instructions for answering the questions. The intuitive questionnaire asks a few questions at a time that are relevant for your contest, requiring input of only the key contest details. The questionnaire usually takes about twenty minutes to complete. Embedded warnings alert you to legal risks and important considerations. After you've gone through the questionnaire, your contest rules are generated. The contest rules can be reviewed by legal counsel on the screen and downloaded as a Word Doc. You also receive a session transcript that identifies any sections that require legal counsel’s particular attention. 

Relative Advantage

Gowling's Contest Creator automates what was traditionally the most burdensome, time consuming and costly work associated with compiling relevant contest details and preparing a set of rules for your contest. The result is a set of generated rules that can be easily and quickly reviewed by a lawyer.

Ease of Use

Contest Creator is easy to use. The questionnaire appears in your browser online, and the set of rules and transcript from your answers is delivered to your computer as a download as Microsoft Word (.docx) or pdf files. To open the Microsoft Word file, you will need Microsoft Word or a program that can open Microsoft Word files.

Circumstances of Use

v2-Created-for-one-of-the-largest-companies-in-Canada-01

Contest Creator is to be used to create a standard set of rules for a promotional contest. It is an online tool that allows users to generate a first draft of contest rules for the location, nature and specifics of their contest by answering a series of questions. 

Important Terms

If you purchase either the "single-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec" option or the "multi-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec" option, the rules generated by Contest Creator will only cover  your selected jurisdiction(s), excluding the province of Quebec. If you want to run your contest in Quebec-only, in select provinces/territories including Quebec, or in all provinces/ territories in Canada, you will need to purchase the "single- or multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec" option. You will not be able to change your selected option after you have purchased the product. 

Contest Creator does not constitute or provide legal advice and its use does not create an attorney-client relationship with Gowling. Contest rules produced by Contest Creator are intended to be reviewed by legal counsel.  You are solely responsible for obtaining independent legal counsel in respect of your contest.

Support

Contest Creator is accessible online 24 hours a day. Contest Creator includes embedded guidance in the software, but it does not include legal advice, nor support outside of what's embedded in the product.

If you agree to the terms, you can ask questions of Gowling WLG with the "Ask a lawyer" feature on this page (immediately below). Gowling WLG is not obliged to answer. If Gowling WLG does answer, they may answer for free by listing your question in the FAQs below, or, if they think your question should be answered in an attorney-client relationship, ask if you would like to engage them according to their normal client intake procedure.



Ask a lawyer

If you have a question for Gowling WLG, you can post it here. Gowling WLG will receive notice of your comment.

Please do not post confidential information. Your question and Gowling WLG's answer will be publicly posted in the frequently asked questions section on this page. You will need to sign in or register with PartnerVine to ask your question.

Frequently asked questions

What is considered a promotional contest in Canada?

Generally, a “contest” in Canada is a promotion involving random chance, skill or mixed chance and skill. Most promotions involving giveaways or prizing will be considered a contest in Canada, requiring compliance with Canadian contest laws.

What laws apply to a promotional contest in Canada?

Contests are highly regulated in Canada and are governed by many laws, including:

  • Criminal Code
  • Competition Act
  • Quebec Charter of the French Language
  • Quebec Act respecting lotteries, publicity contests and amusement machines
  • Privacy laws
  • Intellectual property laws.

Ultimately, a contest’s official rules form a binding legal contract between the sponsor and each entrant. To meet the legal requirements that govern a contest, as well as formalize the sponsor’s rights and limited liability in the course of its administration, it is important that comprehensive rules are developed to govern every contest.

How does Gowling's Contest Creator work?

You have three options to purchase Contest Creator:

  • single-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec;
  • multi-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec; or
  • single- or multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec.

You specify the jurisdiction(s) where you want to run your contest after you've made your purchase, at the beginning of the questionnaire for Contest Creator.

The questionnaire asks you questions relevant to the jurisdiction(s) you've specified. After Contest Creator has gathered your information, it generates a set of draft rules for your contest. You can download or print the rules for your contest for subsequent legal review (and, as applicable, for filing with the Régie in Quebec and translation to French – for more details on these requirements that may apply to a contest in Quebec, see the FAQ ‘What are the special rules for promotional contests in Quebec?’ below). You will also receive a transcript of your session. You may download the rules as a Microsoft Word (.docx) file and the transcript as a pdf.

Which provinces and territories does Gowling's Contest Creator cover?

If you purchase a multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec, Contest Creator covers all 13 of the provinces and territories in Canada:

  • Alberta,
  • British Columbia,
  • Manitoba,
  • New Brunswick,
  • Newfoundland and Labrador,
  • Northwest Territories,
  • Nova Scotia,
  • Nunavut,
  • Ontario,
  • Prince Edward Island,
  • Quebec,
  • Saskatchewan and
  • Yukon.

For details on additional requirements that may apply to a contest open in Quebec, see the FAQ ‘What are the special rules for promotional contests in Quebec?’ below.

How do I choose the Canadian jurisdictions for my contest?

You must consider where you want to run your contest. You will not be able to change your selected purchase option after you've made it. For example, if you have purchased an option excluding Quebec, you cannot later change your option to include Quebec. So, before you complete your purchase, make sure you have decided where you want your contest to run and select the appropriate option. As a practical matter, select the option based on the jurisdiction or jurisdictions where you will run your contest; when your access and session begins in Contest Creator, the questionnaire will first ask you to specify the particular jurisdiction(s) you are interested in. The jurisdiction(s) you can choose is restricted based on your purchase.

  • Example A: Suppose you want to run a contest online and don't know where in Canada your participants will be. In this case, you should buy the "single- or multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec" option. When you start your questionnaire in Contest Creator, you should check all of the provinces and territories.
  • Example B: Suppose you want to run a contest in Ottawa and people only in Ontario may participate. In this case, you should buy the “single-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec” option for Contest Creator. When you start your questionnaire in Contest Creator, you should select Ontario as the jurisdiction where you want to run your contest.
  • Example C: Suppose you want to run a contest in several provinces and territories in Canada, but not Quebec. In this case, you should buy the “multi-province/territory contest, excluding Quebec” option for Contest Creator. When you start your questionnaire in Contest Creator, you should check all of the provinces and territories presented on-screen that you are interested in (Quebec will not be included in this list).
What are the special rules for promotional contests in Quebec?

If a contest is open in Quebec, several legal requirements particular to Quebec will likely need to be complied with. The key requirements include:

  • Where the total prize value exceeds $100, the contest’s sponsor will be required to file the contest with the Régie, a government agency in Quebec, and pay a non-refundable duty fee; the amount of the fee and the deadline for filing depend on the total value of the prizing and jurisdiction(s) of the contest.
  • For contests filed with the Régie, the sponsor must also file a report after the contest ends providing, among other information, the name and addresses of winners of prizes valued at more than $100; the Régie may also request copies of all contest-related advertising and a security agreement.
  • The contest rules must include Quebec-specific clauses, and typically are also required to be filed with the Régie.
  • The contest rules and all advertising materials related to the contest that will be made available in Quebec typically require translation into French.
  • Quebec contests should not be open to children under the age of thirteen to comply with the broad prohibition in the province against advertising to children.

If you purchase the “single- or multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec” option for Contest Creator, the contest rules generated will include the Quebec-specific clauses mentioned above, and the questionnaire will include embedded warnings to alert you to legal risks and important considerations for a contest open in Quebec. However, please note that your purchase of this option for Contest Creator does not include the Régie filing or payment of the duty fee, French translation of the generated contest rules, nor fulfillment of any other key requirements for Quebec contests set out above (except as specifically noted within this paragraph).

Do special rules apply for minors in a contest in Canada?

Minors (anyone under the legal age of majority) are protected by specialized rules and regulations in many different areas of the law, such as privacy, consent, contract (including liability releases) and advertising and marketing. In addition to applicable laws, the terms of use of many social media platforms prohibit use of the platform by minors under thirteen years of age. If minors will be eligible for your social media or other type of contest, we strongly recommend that your legal counsel pays particular attention to these issues. Gowling can provide legal counsel, subject to its standard legal fees and client intake requirements.

Do special rules apply for contests involving alcohol, cannabis, tobacco or other highly regulated products?

Specialized rules apply to many different highly regulated products, such as alcohol, cannabis, CBD, tobacco and vaping products. These rules and regulations can restrict the contests, prizing, sponsorship and other types of advertising or promotional activity that is legally permitted in Canada involving such products. If your contest involves a highly regulated product, we strongly recommend that your legal counsel pays particular attention to these issues. Gowling can provide legal counsel, subject to its standard legal fees and client intake requirements.

What does Contest Creator not do?

Contest Creator provides  a streamlined  way to develop contest rules, which can  then be quickly reviewed by your legal counsel. However, Contest Crestor does not cover all key considerations for running a contest in Canada, including the following that are not covered by Contest Creator:

  • Where the “single- or multi-province/territory contest, including Quebec” option for Contest Creator is purchased, the contest rules generated will include Quebec-specific clauses and the questionnaire will include embedded warnings for legal risks and important considerations applicable to a contest open in Quebec. However, purchasing this option does not include the Régie filing or payment of the duty fee, French translation of the generated contest rules, or fulfillment of any other key requirements for Quebec contests set out in the FAQ ‘What are the special rules for promotional contests in Quebec?’ above (except as specifically noted within this paragraph).
  • The Competition Act (as well as the law in Quebec) requires that contest-related advertising include specific minimum disclosures. These disclosure requirements typically are met by incorporating “mini-rules” (an abbreviated version of long-form contest rules) within contest-related advertising. The content of mini-rules is entirely dependant on the specific mechanics of a contest and the nature of the particular advertising, and as such is not generated by Contest Creator.
  • Depending on the nature and/or value of a prize awarded in a contest, many sponsors opt to require that a winner’s receipt of the prize is made conditional upon the winner executing and delivering a declaration and release form in favour of the contest sponsor and other contest parties. The rules generated by Contest Creator provide for sponsors to impose this as a requirement, however Contest Creator does not generate a declaration and release form.
  • Based on requirements under Canadian contest laws, where a contest’s eligible winner is selected by random draw (or other basis of chance), the rules generated by Contest Creator will require that a winner’s receipt of a prize is made conditional upon the winner correctly answering a math skill-testing question. However, Contest Creator does not generate a math skill-testing question for the sponsor to administer.
  • Contest Creator does not constitute or provide legal advice, and its use does not create an attorney-client relationship with Gowling. The generated contest rules, as well as the transcript that may include warnings of legal risks and important considerations, are intended to be reviewed by legal counsel – you are solely responsible for obtaining independent legal counsel in respect of your contest. Gowling can provide legal counsel, subject to its standard legal fees and client intake requirements.
Does Contest Creator work for contests on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?

Yes. Contest Creator can be used to help generate rules for contests in which Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter are used to enter.

Why is there a math question requirement in promotional contests in Canada?

A skill-testing question is almost always required in promotional contests in Canada. Generally, the illegal lottery provisions of the Criminal Code prohibit games of pure chance. Based on what has been indicated by Canadian courts, the requirement for a potential winner to correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question (which should consist of four-parts, follow the order of operations, and answered without mechanical or other aid) can be used by contest sponsors to avoid this prohibition. 

I want customers to buy my product to enter my contest. Do I have to include a free, alternate method of entry for my contest?

The illegal lottery provisions of the Criminal Code generally prohibit promotional contests that require an entrant to purchase product (or provide another form of valuable consideration) to participate. The typical practice for addressing this prohibition is to include a free, alternate method of entry to your contest. When included, the alternate method of entry must have “equal dignity” (i.e., equal number of entries available and odds of winning) as the contest’s other method of entry. The alternate method of entry generated by Contest Creator is an alternate no-purchase mail-in method of entry.

Hello, I am starting a contest involving multiple different companies and their products that will be on going and constantly changing is this legally possible? Thank you

In order to answer your question, we would need to speak with you about the facts and circumstances of your situation. We would not be able to do that without the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which includes checking our relationship for conflicts and charging our standard fees. If you would like to engage us for advice on this question, please contact Shannon.Uhera@gowlingwlg.com. Thank you.


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