Apple Clamps Down on iOS Device Giveaways

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Apple's iOS devices have rapidly become popular giveaway items for businesses seeking to boost user interest and participation, encouraging customers to sign up or interact with the businesses in some way for chances to win an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

But as noted by Fortune, the vast majority of these promotions run afoul of Apple's published guidelines (PDF) on third-party promotions. Those guidelines lay out exactly what procedures companies looking to offer Apple products as promotional items must follow, most notably barring iPads, iPhones, and iPhone gift cards entirely from such promotions and requiring "special circumstances" and a minimum order of 250 units for iPod touch giveaways.

Apple has laid out some pretty strict rules about what it thinks you can and can't do with its products. Among them: (I quote)

- 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.
- You may NOT use the Myriad Set font on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, or promotional/advertising materials.
- 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.

According to the report, Apple has only just recently begun reaching out to companies to enforce the guidelines, despite that fact that the document has been around for quite some time.

Related Roundup: iPad
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Related Forums: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and iPod

Top Rated Comments

r2fa3l Avatar
168 months ago
It's just more FREE promo+sales for Apple. I don't get this to be honest
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macbwizard Avatar
168 months ago
Apple can do this legally?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
168 months ago
Well that's just too bad Apple! People can give away whatever they want.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmcalpin Avatar
168 months ago
These are all pretty reasonable…

You guys have never seen one of those promotions where they're so blatantly trying to trick people into thinking Apple is connected with them? That explains the majority of these things.

Some of it is just to ensure that they're not associated with those misleading or even predatory scams like "free iPads"… if you sign up for two websites and a credit card.

You can GIVE an iPad to whoever the hell you want. That's not a third party promotion.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2 Replies Avatar
168 months ago
Ha!

-Rolls eyes- :rolleyes:

"iPad, iPhone and the iPhone Gift Card may not be used in third-party promotions."

Once a company has taken the money for the product/gift card, they have NO legal jurisdiction to say what happens to the product in terms of ownership.
California especially, (where Apple is located) in terms of gift-cards, has some DAMN clear laws. They CAN NOT be expired, so Apple HAS to honor them regardless of how the end user procured them.
If Apple is actually refusing to honor their own gift-cards they're SO setting themselves up for an open and shut lawsuit.

Additionally while, some of the items they state in their 'guidelines' are valid... they're merely Apple rehashing state and/or federal Copyright and Trademark law, so are not Apple's OWN guidelines.
Most of the rest though is BS Apple has sprinkled in, but is totally not enforceable regardless of what Apple may claim.

Examples of blatant BS:
- Only the most current Apple products may be featured
(If a company is giving away or catering to owners of previous versions, then it would be ILLEGAL to follow this guideline. Apple can not enforce false advertising.)
- Do not place within decorative cases, etc.
(Apple, if a company is selling protective cases for Apple's GLASS handset, they can't stop them from demonstrating final appearance of their product.)
- Always show products on a plain background
(Most hilarious and non-enforceable one. Apple doesn't get to dictate other company's advertising methods)
- Do not clutter Apple product photos with props, models or marketing messages
(See previous)
- Images may not be used on disposable packaging, nor on promotions within the food industry. In this case, please use the product name in text only
(Notice the 'please'? It's clearly a request. Totally not enforceable. Especially since in this wording they are not clearly stating the images as being of Apple products or Apple IP.)


Sorry Apple, but you don't make the laws. Your guidelines DO NOT trump federal law.
If someone or some company wants to say "Free iPod with purchase", you have no legal grounds to stop them or hold them responsible for not following your arbitrary guidelines.
The world doesn't revolve around you.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
168 months ago
This seriously makes no sense. These sort of giveaways have been a huge marketing boon for the iOS platform (and halo effect). I really don't see how this is in Apple's interest to clamp down on these promotions.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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