AG Sues Firm for Claims About Prizes Featured

By Staff Writer April 10, 2019 1088

Indiana’s attorney general filed suit against a marketing firm over mailings that allegedly lead consumers to falsely believe they have won valuable prizes.

The attorney general alleges that Texas-based Hopkins and Raines Inc. sent mailings to 2.1 million Indiana consumers as part of 56 different promotions for car dealers in Indiana between March 2016 and March 2018.

The complaint alleges that all the mailings contained game pieces purporting to determine whether recipients had won prizes, including vehicles, TVs and cash. Each mailing, however, contained identical game pieces with winning numbers.

Recipients who went to dealerships to claim winnings were awarded “prizes” much less valuable than those advertised – typically such items as a $5 Walmart gift card, a scratch-off lottery ticket, an MP3 player or a mail-in rebate coupon for $10 off the purchase of a turkey.

The dealerships than attempted to sell the consumers a vehicle.

The attorney general claims the mailings violated the Promotional Gifts and Contests Act in various ways. These allegedly include uniformly failing to identify the name and address of the promoter; failing to state the odds of winning each prize in the appropriate place and size; failing to include the verifiable retail value of each prize in the appropriate place and size; failing to include any disclosure that the recipients may be subjected to a sales pitch; and failing to properly identify the retail value of prizes.

Indiana’s attorney general has filed similar complaints recently against five other promotional firms: DBR Integrity Promotions Inc.; Dealer Direct Services Inc.; Prophecy Marketing; Traffic Jam Events LLC; and Xcel Media Group. The attorney general has obtained judgments against Traffic Jam Events LLC and Prophecy Marketing.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 12:56