Giveaways gone wrong

I worked in advertising for many years and found it interesting the amount of giveaways and promotions that have gone awry for whatever reason. I’m curious if anyone knows of other promotions or giveaways gone wrong.

An example was with FoxFM’s ‘Alphabucks’ promotion. The contestant had 30 seconds to answer a certain amount of questions, all starting with a random letter that was given to them just before the questions started. In this case the letter was ‘L’, and the woman was doing really well but got stuck when asked to name ‘a car brand’. Presumably they were expecting her to say Lexus or Land Rover etc., but instead she said ‘Liberty’, which is actually a Subaru model, rather than being a car brand, so she was told she didn’t win. Then a Google search by the station’s lawyers discovered that 100 years ago there was a car brand in America called Liberty and they called her back on stage and told her that she’d won $50k. A fluke, but a very lucky fluke.

There was a radio promotion many years ago (Million Dollar Dash??). It involved shovelling as many (coins?) as you could in a certain amount of time. Unfortunately they left the specially designed shovel at the studio and stopped at a hardware store on the way. This shovel was bigger than the original one, hence they gave away a lot more money than they intended. (This was a long time ago and my memory may not be 100% accurate).

Another stuff up involved a major sporting club that held a ‘reverse draw’ many years ago and was forced to give away two cars instead of one. In most states reverse draws are illegal, and if they’re permitted the winning number must be the first number drawn, which is then put in a sealed envelope. The club didn’t do this and announced the last remaining number as the winner. The person whose number was drawn first - who should’ve been the winner - brought in the lawyers and was also given a new car.


I think this will be a fun topic.

My favourite one is the Toyota/Toy Yoda fiasco


The Back Side of Television included an episode about Seven’s National Bingo Night.

There were published “Bingo” cards for viewers to play along with at home but because the program was pre-recorded Seven already knew the numbers that would come up so rigged the cards. ACA did several stories on it. They even ambushed a Sunrise episode that was in Martin Plaza - note the printed signs all in the same font. There were also allegations of the actual game being rigged for the contestants when recorded.


I watch this it’s definitely worth a watch.

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I heard a story of a raffle in which people were given keys and the key that opened the car was supposed to be the winner. However, someone’s key opened the care even though it was the wrong key.


We used to manage a shopping centre and they held a huge VIP event and the main prize on the night was a luxury holiday. Seven keys had been won before the event however unbeknownst to us the centre manager held over one key which was then included as part of a hamper raffled on the night. Turns out this key was the winning key and the winner was presented with a certificate on stage with much fanfare. Unfortunately the centre manager was unaware this woman worked at the centre and this error didn’t come to light until other tenants complained. It was awkward because while she was eligible to win the hamper, as an employee of the centre she was ineligible to win the main prize. She went legal but we had no choice but to withdraw her prize and bring back the other seven key winners to redo the promotion. I don’t know if the centre offered her any compensation but it would’ve been very embarrassing for her.


I’m impressed that Sunrise we able to have an episode inside a member of Mental as Anything :wink:


It can work both ways.

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I think it was revealed by ACA that the balls that went down the tube weren’t the same when picked up by Renee.

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