Compact Digital Cameras offered as competition prizes

Complaint Brought

This complaint was made against BSN Medical by Smith & Nephew and related to (1) alleged breaches of clause 3.5 of the code which deals with promotions and competitions, and (2) alleged breaches of clause 3.11 of the code which deals with electronic equipment

These alleged breaches related to the offer of compact digital cameras as competition prizes at the 2012 Wounds UK exhibition at Harrogate. A complaint panel was convened to form an opinion on whether BSN Medical had breached the Code of Practice..



In reference to the specific points within the complaint the panel reached the following conclusions:

Although S&N did not identify the specific issue in their complaint, the panel were not provided with evidence that BSN had informed the prize-winner’s employers, as required by the code. Therefore BSN were found to be in breach of clause 3.5. Having the prize-winner sign a declaration and trusting they will inform their employer is not what the code requires.

Clause 3.5 states very clearly that the competition organiser should inform the winner’s employers in writing that the prize has been awarded. No evidence was provided that showed this was done.

Although there was no clear statement that the cameras were not awarded for personal use, the fact that the competition prizes were cameras was not itself seen as an issue. The individual value of the prizes was also not considered an issue.

Whilst the signed statements on BSN letterheads indicate that the prizes were intended for educational purposes there is no clear statement that this means they were solely for use within the workplace and not for personal use. It was noted that the signed statements were not dated and therefore the panel were unable to ascertain whether they were signed at the time of awarding the prize or as a response to the complaint being made.

It is pertinent that one of the signed statements did not identify the organisation employing the prize winner.


Complaint adjudicated on 6 February 2013

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