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Pinterest tightens its rules on contests

November 7, 2013

Last week, Pinterest--the social media juggernaut with more than 70 million users--announced a change to its Acceptable Use Policy.

Going forward, the site will no longer allow business users to conduct contests that: 

  • Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or the promotion 
  • Require people to Pin from a selection (like a website or list of Pins) 
  • Make people Pin the contest rules 
  • Run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like or follow represents an entry 
  • Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment 
  • Ask to vote with Pins, boards or likes 
  • Require a minimum number of Pins

Pinterest's concern is that contests like these "can motivate people to add Pins they aren’t truly interested in," leading to content that feels "irrelevant and even spammy." That does not mean, however, that all contests are prohibited. The site still encourages contests that “help people think about and talk about your brand." In providing this additional direction for how to conduct contests, though, Pinterest is taking steps to ensure that its own brand remains associated with discovery and beauty, rather than canned commercialism.

To learn more about this or any other social, mobile and emerging media issue, please feel free to contact one of the Honigman attorneys in the Social, Mobile and Emerging Media Industry Group
To view Pinterest’s message to businesses about their contest guidelines and changes to its Acceptable Use Policy, visit its business blog entry, 'Better ways to reach Pinners.'

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