Reese’s Sweepstakes Promotion Raises Legal Concerns


Summary: Reese’s may be in violation of sweepstakes laws with its new $25,000 promotion on packs of peanut butter cups, as consumers are not immediately informed that no purchase is necessary to enter.

Reese’s, the popular candymaker, is facing scrutiny over its recent sweepstakes offer on two-cup packages. The promotion states that consumers could win $25,000, but only reveals in small print inside the package that no purchase is necessary to enter. The promotion was first brought to attention by consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky, who expressed concerns about the legality of the promotion.

Hershey Co., the parent company of Reese’s, has not yet responded to requests for comment. Under state laws, sweepstakes must not require a purchase to participate, as that would classify it as a lottery and subject to different rules. Additionally, federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the U.S. Postal Service are responsible for enforcing sweepstakes laws. The FTC, although unable to comment on ongoing investigations, has laws in place to prevent unfair and deceptive acts.

Dworsky also noted that Reese’s had run a similar promotion earlier this year, and there are still packages for sale even though the sweepstakes code has expired. He argues that the packaging could mislead consumers into thinking they need to make a purchase to enter the sweepstakes, and believes that all packages should be recalled.

Tags: Reese’s, sweepstakes, promotion, legal concerns, no purchase necessary