Want to Run a Contest or Promotion on Google+? Not So Fast

Google may have finally invited brands to participate on Google+, but it doesn’t plan to let them run promotions. The social network’s content policy bans direct hosting of contests, sweepstakes, offers and coupons on Google+ pages.

Posting a link to a promotion page is fair game, but the policy could disappoint brand marketers who had envisioned using Google+ for promotions without building a separate page.

Given the many ways organizations and individuals can get into legal trouble while running a promotion — including laws that vary by geographic location and sector — it makes sense that Google+ would avoid becoming involved in legal battles by banning promotions on its platform.

“When you have a plaintiff’s attorney who is looking to get money, they will often drag in other companies [to a promotions case],” says Gonzalo Mon, partner of the advertising and marketing practice at law firm Kelley Drye.

Facebook, Mon says, had similarly strict restrictions in place when it released its first content policy. Brands who wanted to run promotions using Facebook had to obtain written permission.

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