Walkers Deep Ridged crisps

The ASA has upheld a complaint that a competition around Walkers’ Deep Ridged crisps was not properly administered

Snack giant Walkers has been rapped by the UK’s advertising watchdog the ASA after it found it had not made enough effort to track down competition prize winners.

A scratch card prize promotion for Walkers’ Deep Ridge product promised to make all reasonable attempts to contact the 41 eventual winners of the competition.

However, the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) challenged whether the promotion had been properly administered, after obtaining a list that showed only the first names of the winners had been given, and finding that only nine of the 41 prizes had been awarded, when the competition had ended over three months before.

Walkers claimed providing prize winners’ full names might allow them to be individually identified via social media sites and the internet.

However, it admitted an “internal error” meant its agency attempted to contact 15 second prize winners, rather than 40.

Upholding the IPM’s complaints, the ASA said full names should have been provided in respect of any major prize winners, in the interests of transparency. It expressed concern the records provided appeared to show that prize winners were only called once and that there was no attempt to contact prize winners again if they did not answer.

The ASA ordered that the promotion not be run again in its current form and told Walkers to ensure that adequate attempts were made to contact winners and that their full names be made available to those who requested them.