Apple Tightens Control on Use of Its Products for Promotional Giveaways

Thinking about offering an iPad 2 for your company’s next promotional giveaway?  Think twice!  You need to make yourself familiar with Apple’s Guidelines for Third Party Promotions before you get yourself into some trouble.

Companies looking for promotional items waste no time in offering the latest and greatest Apple products as soon as they hit store shelves.  It’s the perfect way to attract customers and hopefully drum up some business.  Contests for free iPhones, iPods and iPads are constantly popping up from popular websites to small businesses in your own home town.  Well beware, because according to a report on Fortune, Apple has started to enforce the guidelines it has laid out regarding the use of its products for contests and giveaways.

Following are just some of the guidelines included in the two-page document outlining Apple’s rules:

  • iPad, iPhone and the iPhone Gift Card may not be used in third-party promotions.
  • iPod touch is only allowed to be used in special circumstances and requires a minimum purchase of 250 units.
  • The use of “free” as a modifier in any Apple product reference in a prominent manner (headlines, call- outs, etc.) is prohibited.
  • You must submit all marketing materials related to the promotion of Apple products to Apple for review.
  • You may NOT use the Myriad Set font on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, or promotional/advertising materials.
  • Please include the following statement at the end of Apple legal language: “Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.”

This rules included in the Guidelines for Third Party Promotions document have reportedly been around since January, but it appears Apple has only recently started to enforce them.  I blogged about the significant number of iPad contests in one of my posts last fall and was completely unaware of any guidelines.  Based on the number of contests past and present, it looks like plenty of others find themselves without a firm grasp of the rules as well.  I found dozens of contests just today by googling “iPad 2 contest giveaway” and some of them were from well-known, reputable sites.  It will definitely be interesting to see whether there is a decline in the number of contests offering up Apple products in the future.


About Cristi: Contact me via Twitter: @PadGadgetCristi

  • Anonymous

    Why should Apple have any say-so over what a third-party wants to give away as a promotion? A third-party has every right to purchase whatever they want and to give whatever it is they purchase away in whatever promotion they want to have. Another case of Apple/Steve Jobs going Gestapo crazy.

  • Don Temistocles

    Apple products are being offered on some websites because those are the products that people want. Many iPad lovers are registering for the free iPad 2s at Digitally Undivided

  • Don Temistocles

    Apple products are being offered on some websites because those are the products that people want. Many iPad lovers are registering for the free iPad 2s at Digitally Undivided

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, this is B.S., who do they think they are? Do they realise what world this is? It’s mine, if I want to raffle it off or shove it up an elephants ass, I can and will do it, despite your protestations apple… 1st quad core android tab appears and I am jumping ship, specifically to get away from this apple big brother crap!

  • paopangan

    this is soooo stoopid

  • Dan Verhaeghe


  • CONOR O Donovan

    They can try to enforce such a rule if they are providing the hardware for free, but if these were bought off the shelf will have no power to do so.  

    Good move laying down such guidelines and getting some press for it.   Marketing genious.

  • jamEs harris

    I find it funny people are surprised by this. Apple is 100% about image and presentation of their products.  Ever noticed how when you go to a non-Apple store and how Apple products are always on their own, never presented side by side with competing products.  This is definitely intentional. It’s basically a statement of there’s Apple products, and then there’s the rest all lumped together.

    Notice how Apple doesn’t incentivize the purchase of their phones? They never say buy 2 iPhones get _________. They never diminish the value of their products like they do with Android phones.  They’ll toss in an iPod Touch with the purchase of a Mac during the back to school season, but that’s about it.  So really it doesn’t shock me they don’t want people diluting their brand with bad contest designs for their products.