How to run a prize promotion overseas

If you’re thinking of running an international prize promotion, it’s essential that you’re aware of all the relevant legislation to avoid breaking any laws. The prize promotions experts at Another Way have put together this guide to help ensure that your overseas promotions are legally compliant. 

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • the difference between prize competitions, prize draws and lotteries
  • how to run an international prize promotion
  • relevant legislation when running a prize promotion in the UK and overseas

Prize Competitions vs Prize Draws vs Lotteries

If you’re thinking of running a prize promotion, it will generally fall into a competition, draw or lottery:

  • Prize competitions are when the winner is selected based on skill or merit, such as answering a question or solving a puzzle. This should be hard enough to prevent a significant number of entrants from qualifying for a prize (this is known as the ‘skill test’).
  • Prize draws are when the winners are chosen at random from the pool entrants. In the UK, to qualify as a prize draw, there must be a free entry route.
  • Lotteries are when the winners are chosen randomly, and all entrants must pay to enter. To run a lottery in the UK and many other countries (such as France and the US), you must have special permission and some countries (such as Germany) have further restrictions. Running an unauthorised lottery is illegal, so you’ll generally want to avoid running a prize draw without a free entry route. 


How to run an international prize promotion 

Every country has slightly different rules and laws governing prize competitions and draws. Because of this, it’s not practical to run a prize promotion that’s open to anyone in any country. You must ensure that your competition adheres to the laws and regulations of each country that can enter it. 

It might be best to only run your promotion in the UK, which has relatively relaxed laws compared to other countries and other countries with similar laws. Below, we’ll cover some of the most important legislation you must consider when running a promotion in the UK and overseas. 


Relevant legislation when running a prize promotion in the UK and overseas

Gambling law

Any prize promotion must comply with local gambling laws. In the UK, the 2005 Gambling Act does not regulate prize competitions (provided they meet the ‘skill test’) and prize draws (provided they contain a free entry route). The rules in other countries (such as Australia and some US states) are stricter, so you’ll have to check the relevant gambling legislation for any countries where you plan on running your prize promotion.

CAP Code

Prize promotions in the UK must follow the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (‘CAP Code’). This requires that all promotions must be run in a legal, honest and truthful manner. It also requires that specific information is made clear and easily accessible to consumers, including the start and end date, the entry conditions, the actual prizes on offer, and how winners will be notified. 

Failure to comply with the CAP code might result in a sanction by the ASA, leading to highly negative publicity for your brand, so you must ensure your promotion complies if it’s being run in the UK.

Data protection

If you’re running a prize promotion online or through social media, this will often require consumers to contribute personal data. This collection and use of such data will be governed by data protection laws. 

In the UK, it’s governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This act states that consumers should be told what their information will be used for and that it must be used fairly. There are also specific rules about transforming data outside the EEA, which might be relevant if you’re running an international promotion. 

Intellectual property rights

Many social media prize promotions encourage consumers to submit user-generated content (UGC) to enter. If a brand wants to use this content in its marketing, intellectual property rights will need to be considered to avoid liability. Ensure you check the intellectual property rights of the countries where you intend to run your prize promotion.

Be aware that this is not a conclusive list of all legislation you might need to be aware of when running a prize promotion overseas.


Need help running a prize promotion overseas?

If you’re considering running an international prize promotion, we can ensure you’re legally compliant and your promotion runs smoothly. At Another Way, we’re experts at crafting bespoke prize promotions with comprehensive multi-territory terms and conditions.

Our founder, Andrew, has been active in the Promotional Marketing industry for over a decade. From Airbnb to Ocado, he’s worked with some big brands to create prize promotions that drive measurable and long-lasting results. 

We specialise in creating bespoke, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ prizes and experiences to help you connect with your target audience in a meaningful way. From social media competitions to on-pack promotions, we’ll ensure that your prize promotion follows all the relevant legislation and regulations to protect your brand. 

Check out our campaign inspiration to see what we can achieve, no matter the size of your budget. 

Another Way provides complete campaign management to make sure your prize promotion runs smoothly – you can rely on our expert team to handle every aspect of your promotional campaign!

We offer:

  • Unique prizes and experiences 
  • Prize promotional mechanics
  • Pan-European and global prize fulfilment 
  • Winner management, selection and entry judging 
  • UK and multi-territory terms and conditions
  • Loyalty reward schemes and consumer incentives 
  • Complete campaign management

If you’re interested in working with us on your next prize promotion, give us a call at 0778 948 5123 or email us at

Or complete our online form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.