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Staff member wins BPS-Sberbank’s contest: violation or not?

A BPS-Sberbank lottery session. Image:

Employee of BPS-Sberbank Maksim Yarmalouski has won the game “Always together with Sberbank” and received a new Toyota RAV4. The game was organized by an advertizing agency and no rules have been broken, the bank announced.

“Employees of the bank are also our clients and are also using the bank services just like everyone else. That is why we created equal opportunities for everyone except for the members of the organization committee. The procedure of choosing the winner was open: everyone could watch the online broadcast on Instagram and even attend the drawing. Some people including those who do not work for the bank did attend it. The eligibility of every winner was also checked. If necessary, the bank can present the corresponding information and videos. A written request needs to be sent for it. At the same time, BPS-Sberbank will pay due attention to all suggestions and clients’ ideas and take them into account during the organization of future games and actions,” the bank explained.  

Let us analyze the situation from a client’s point of view.

Clients could see the advertisement of the new game on the bank’s website. The game was announced by the bank.

“Dear clients! BPS-Sberbank has great news for you! The game “Always together with Sberbank” has begun!”

З сайта банка

The bank’s website

Nothing was said about the fact that the bank was not the organizer of the game. Only very attentive clients could understand that the organizer was an advertising agency. You can find information about the game rules after visiting 3 other webpages and opening a PDF file:

“Employees of the Organizer CANNOT participate in the game”. 

The contest rules

The organizer was the advertising agency Smart Nova. The commission that watched the drawing consisted of three employees of BPS-SBerbank and two employees of Smart Nova.

“You are an educated person, aren’t you?” the reply about Smart Nova’s game was rather emotional. “You must have read the game rules. BPS-Sberbank has nothing to do with the game organizers. Three crazy people have already phoned us and asked the same question. The game rules were approved by the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation. People just do not read them, that’s the problem.”

The agency was in charge of the contest, not the bank, Smart Nova assured.

The Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation cannot see any problem about it either.

“The organizer’s employees cannot participate in such games. However, since the organizer is another subject, the law is not applied to the bank employees.”

The same can be read in the President’s decree describing the rules of advertising games.

Yet, we have found another document on the website of the bank and the rules are a bit different there. “BPS-Sberbank’s cool game with VISA Belavia”:

“Employees of the Organizer and of the Interested Party cannot take part in the game…”

“The Interested Party” has disappeared from the game rules.

A similar incident occurred at Belneftekhim earlier. The company’s employee also won an advertising game. The game was organized by an advertising agency.