Contests and defaulting Sponsors

C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Though I would not address these issues to all Sponsors of contests and, indeed, am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to some Sponsors who appear to be defaulting, I think it is relevant for us bloggers to consider our course of action in the case of those Sponsors who seem intent on taking bloggers for a ride.

I know I have not received either the Lakme or the Sunsilk hampers - which were promised to all acceptable entries and since I won prizes in both of them I cannot be considered to have put in an unacceptable entry. Hampers seem apparently to have been dispatched on a pick-and-choose basis. I do not know if I am a one-off case or whether this is the experince of a significant number of relevant bloggers.

ACTION POINT : I think we need to consolidate information of how many have not received hampers and consider skipping contests of defaulting Sponsors. A request for Indi too - will they consider only e-vouchers when sponsors promise prizes to all entries.

I had already heard of a case with Samsung which is reported to have attempted to coerce winning Bloggers on a trip abroad. What triggered this Forum thread by me is a recent incident of a blogger being asked to pay upfront money for receiving a prize that she won in a contest on the pretext of taxes (Not an Indi Contest by the way). When a Sponsor acts like this, I think that such a Sponsor needs to be banned from sponsoring any contests.

Two things we need to have - information about the behavior of Sponsors and the will to uphold our own self-respect. It is irritating enough for me to have sponsors think I shall write because they dangle carrots in front of me. It is infuriating for them to also take me so lightly that they feel they can break their promises with impunity.

I have ceased to take interest in any contests and, thus, this is not a self-serving post. I think it is time some action is taken to ensure that Companies treat bloggers with more respect.

Let us see some signs of 'Corporate Ethics' in their treatment of bloggers.

Edited 5 years ago
Reason: Change in category
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Rachna Parmar
Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Agree! I have also seen that participation hampers and vouchers take their own time to get dispatched after repeated follow ups and sometimes they don't get dispatched even months after the said contests. It gives a very bad feeling of being taken for a ride. We are not greedy folks looking to get crumbs. We only ask for what is legitimately ours. This is leaving a very bad taste in my mouth about contests and promotion events in general. And, it will hurt the blogging platforms and their sponsors too if remedial action is not taken.

Vidya Sury
Vidya Sury
from Bangalore
5 years ago

How sad. First of all, I think it is important for sponsors as well as those announcing the contests to realize that they are not doing the Bloggers a favor. It is the other way around. Carrot dangling and then fizzling off is just not done. It isn't like we created our blogs to purely promo products.

I am outraged to read the referred blogger's post on having to cough up the upfront money to claim the prize. And it is no small amount. Although, whatever the amount - it is the principle behind the thing.

Subhorup Dasgupta
Subhorup Dasgupta
from Hyderabad
5 years ago

Contests have riked more than pleased me, but I would like to believe that is because I never got to win. This displeasure is at many levels. Contests are often announced without clarity on terms, and terms are sometimes changed after entries have been submitted. Contests often offer samplers which you sign up for, and you never receive, and then you get a mail asking why you have not posted your entry after receiving the sampler. Delays and denials of prizes, or even bullying like in the Samsung case, is of course totally unacceptable. But contests have also irked me for another, more personal reason. Except for a small handful of brilliantly creative entries (and it is almost predictable where they will come from), most of the submissions for contests are in terribly poor taste. And these are often by bloggers who are otherwise respected for their niche. I understand this well, since I have struggled with this the few times I have submitted for a contest. While the product or brand walks away with hundreds of keyword-rich backlinks and free ongoing publicity, the blog entries are more often than not, laughable caricatures. I include my own contest entries in this sad category.

I feel that social marketing needs to evolve to a more mature level, where they can leverage on the value of bloggers without compromising the value of the blog. The most common format for contests is write about the product, include a link, share it on your networks. You do not need to pay a social media consultant to come up with a campaign like that; your pet dog will be happy to tell you this in return for a pat. It is sad (for the corporates at least) that this is what they get for the big bucks that go into digital and social strategy. Or maybe, that is nature's way of settling accounts. Just wish we bloggers would not be the ones suffering in this karmic drama.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Personally, I have attempted contests only because they brought in more readers thanks to higher visibility of the entries. Since I have always been interested in retaining readers if possible I have tried to be as creative in the contest posts as I would be in my normal ones.

I fully agree that contest entries may not quite be what the corporates ought to get in return for their 'big bucks' but the reins are in their hands and they can avoid sponsoring contests or decline entries if they feel that it is not working out for them. The Bloggers, on the other hand, have no say in the rules being set and, it would appear, that some Sponsors at least feel that they are impotent to do a thing even if the rules are not adhered to by the Sponsors. That, for me, is morally reprehensible if true as, indeed, is burying significant financial information about the contest in the fine print if they had even done that.

Social marketing will never rise beyond these levels as long as Corporates think of bloggers on the lines of door-to-door salesmen running after crumbs and with scant little power to defend themselves even against injustice. If Blogging is media, then Corporates need to realize that they can tarnish their images far beyond the individuals that they directly affect - if and when they are being less than honest, since these individuals are active members of Social media. And, if they will not realize it by themselves then we need to make them realize it.

Blogwati Gee
Blogwati Gee
from Mumbai
5 years ago

I love participating in contests solely for one reason. It tickles my grey cells to see if I have what it takes to come up with something unique, within said parameters. The prizes might attract but are never the sole driving force. In fact, the Sunsilk hamper reached me on the last day and I still blogged since I felt I should. A Contest is a contest. If a Brand is looking at promotions, maybe Blogging forums can have a separate Product Review Category where interetsed bloggers can apply to review a product. But when you say a contest, it needs to be fair and square. A blogger exists independantly. Forums co-exist because of independent bloggers. And yes, we need ethics to govern either side.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

It is the lack of ethics and the fact that it probably springs out of a lack of respect for the blogging community that irks me. I make a song-and-dance about Sunsilk and Lakme hampers - and everyone who knows me also knows I have no conceivable use for the products. I still have not even bothered to put to use the evouchers sent by Sony nor opened the packaging of the Melbourne Pen drive. The problem for me is the thought that someone promises something, thinks that we were slavering for his handout and wrote our pieces and, then, also feels free to send it or not as he pleases. That irks me no end.

Rachna Parmar
Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Also I want to know the role of blogging forums in all of this. Are they just contest hosts and then leave bloggers to fend for themselves? The reason that they have built large communities of bloggers is based on respect and mutual trust. They have to stand up for the bloggers, ensure transparency and fairness and act as a liaision between the marketing agency and bloggers making sure that things work the way they are meant to fairly.

Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Coudn't agree more Rachna!

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

lulwut? You DO realize that Indiblogger is a business??? They use the memberbase which requires one to be a blogger to make pitches to their client for promotion. They earn money out of it. They ARE a liason between marketing agencies and bloggers. Maybe there was a delay, but how many of them never received the gift/trinkets that they were being promised that they will get???? If this thread would have been used to document that rather than saying "some" sponsors without knowing whom exactly we're referring to, its pointless.

That's my opinion. I don't like the concept of getting something in exchange of promoting someone else.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

@Sorc: That was the reason why I started this thread. Where I have had issues, I have mentioned the names. What I wanted was to see who were the troublesome sponsors so that the next contest that comes from them is avoided.

That, of course, does not seem to be happening. :)

Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

I have no problems with Indiblogger. I must have participated in 3-4 contests so far. I have got the Samsung Tab that I won in one without paying any tax. I got the vouchers or whatever freebie too for participation also without problem. But BlogAdda Shave or Crave by Gillette is the one I participated in on another platform. They promised Flipkart vouchers for participation. It has been two months and still no sign of those despite many queries and reminders.

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

See Rachna aunty, that depends on the sponsors. I don't think I've heard of a brand that gives its own product as a giveaway to implement some tax amount. Companies have a separate amount of goods for promotional purposes (they're same as retail- and they're not media samples that go in the hands of many reviewers and media houses for review/promo purposes). its important that blogadda and indiblogger have the contest giveaways in their posession and then have a giveaway contest.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

If I am not mistaken, Naba's issue also was the same "Shave or Crave' contest.

Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Grandpa Sorcerer, I am sorry but I fail to understand the point you are trying to make. I look at it from the point of view of a blogger. I participate in an Indiblogger or Blogadda contest. What do I care for Samsung or Unilever or Gillette or whoever? I am least bothered by their dynamics. I go by what was promised to me and not delivered for whatever reasons. And thank you for explaining promotional products. I am a Marketing MBA who has worked in brand management, so I have some ideas about marketing campaigns and product promotions. Thank you very much!

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

<_<; I don't understand the concepts of people flashing their degrees. People who usually I found doing that are engineering who don't know what power supplies basically convert AC to DC voltage. First time I am seeing an MBA bragging about it.Keeping that aside, to break down, what I said is that if you are managing a brand and you are having a contest that is giving away your brand products as prizes, usually no1 imposes tax on it. But there are products that they do- usually that is valued for 50k-1lakh+ they ask for a tax amount. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

What wrong is that the marketing level needs to mature according to the Indian crowd. Most marketing guys are book smart but they're often disconnected with the people and not in sync. They use such services so that they can connect with bloggers, but they don't. They need to understand the bloggers by being involved directly. I assume that's the point of having sponsored meets, but judging by few of them its not the case. They treat it as press conference where most of the media guys are also disconnected with the field, disregarding a handful of them, where most of them turn out to be bloggers who run certain sites like igyaan, etc. Unless or until management who hold the contest do not interact with people informally then things will be stagnant. This is something that people should know and not taught properly in business management. Its called consumer centric business for a reason. I hope this clarifies my explanation. If not, please do let me know I will be more than happy to see if I can present this in a more simple manner :).

Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Sorcerer I don't know you online or offline, and I didn't understand your antagonism earlier or now. I do not wish to continue having any conversation with you. You may wish to assume what you like about degrees, skills, people or whatever, I have no interest in that. You directly responded to my comment and in a not so polite manner. So please take your gyaan to elsewhere on the thread.

Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Completely agree. If blogging forums are leaving bloggers to fend for themselves, then they shouldn't be hosting the contests in the first place. It is not ethical to promote something you know is not right. If you speak for something, you better make sure it does what it says it does. 

Nice point raised Bro. I see what gonna happen when this harper coll. gonna say, " we are in process of pubishing, and nothing gets published."
Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Publishing houses could do the same thing. So far, the terms and conditions about copyrights or payment terms - nothing has been released. Even rules and regulations were changed through the process - even as people were submitted, they were asked to change format and include the last lines. Then it was said top 300, top 250 were selected. The thing is terms and conditions need to be fixed upfront and then honoured. 

They have started saying they need masterpiece for the word to read.and they want writers to get themselves edited by top notch editors of the world. Now their criteria of it may be superlative. I sense yashodhara lal promoted her book through bloggers, and indie played a scapegoat.
Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

i think getpublished HC is genuine...publishing house is bit different than fmgg companies methinks...and many publishing houses are having these getpublished contests of late.

i hope so. but time will tell. i had asked a simple info from harper authorities, if they judged the plots of contests, and higher authority is mailing lower rung and and reply is still pending. 

since harper is shying away from giving any confirmation, i doubt it to be a private affair of writer and it's editor, thinking they will get the compilation passed for publishing. if they are unable, still they got publicity. 

Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

publishing is bit different...becos bloggers are not promoting a product here or getting any prize as such...rather the stories they select will be the ultimate product...so i dont think they'll do hanky panky with their future product.

they are promoting their names as writers/editors of calibre. all the likes we give on blog and fb tweets etc. 

the doubt arose when arvind passey's plot was rejected. he had given a bad review of yashodhara lal's book. he flashed it on f.b. wall. next day his plot was accepted. this planted doubts of fishy affairs

Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

nop..i had seen yashodhara's tweet asking if he had submitted at the last moment...and perhaps he said yes...cos next day it was accepted as well...u can check her twitter timeline click on "view conversations'

what last moment stuff. all posts within time line must have been judged with prudence. i see such statement childish. And why yashodhara lal is only responding. why not someone from official stature of harper to give credibility. 

 

Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

come to think of it does. A cries he was not selected. Y asked if he posted last minute. A say yup...next day A is in....lol :p ( watever i could make out from tweets...i may be wrong...oops*)

I checked Arvind ji' s post, it was submitted on jan 23rd, way in time, i suppose. the last moment thing was a hypocritical statement, to save face for accepting the plot.

Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

nop...he may have written the post on 23rd...but delayed submitting in that ideas page...read the tweets carefully...becos when Y asked if he submitted just before midnight on last date..he admitted yes...saying some son visiting from london etc

may be, lets wait and see the end result.

Nabanita Dhar
Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

What is sad is that we are treated like comodities.... I would participat in contests without the prizes or hampers if they are interesting or give me a chance to do different things.. but I certainly wouldn't want to be taken for a ride... The attitude that we have to deal with is as if some sort of favour is being done to us...My experience with Indiblogger has been really good but I certainly cannot say the same about another website which hosts contests and then pretends it has got nothing to do with it...

I see contests as a chance to write on topics that perhaps I wouldn't normally write on... And I am sure it is the same with many of us around here.. I can only think of a quote by Saru at this point "bloggers are not driven by bottom line but just passion"  and certain sponsors and websites need to understand that...!

 

Nandini Deka
from Bombay
5 years ago

I see contests as a chance to write on topics that perhaps I wouldn't normally write on  << this is exactly why i write for contest...many times take part just for the sake of participating as i get to blabber thru my writing. contests have given me lots of traffic/readers too....thats a prize for me. many people discovered my blog only via contests...

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

I respect all those sentiments about contests spurring creativity and all that. I would seriously resent anyone even appearing to hint that my own reason for putting up this thread is because I so badly needed those goodies. Let me be very clear here. If you run a contest that offers no goodies whatsoever I shall not be skipping it on that count. BUT if you offer me as much as a pencil and fail to deliver it I shall be seriously angry. It is the attitude of cheating and taking people lightly that I hate NOT the fact that I had not received the goodies.

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

You are a commodity as you are promoting them in exchange for a chance to win something. How do you promote the content and educate/inform/mislead the readers is in your control.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

@Sorc: Time on a TV channel is a commodity much like space on a blog is. There is a difference between treating the TV channel or the blogger with disrespect and buying that time or space.

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Blog =/= TV. TV channel is a one-way communicating media. Blog is a 2 way communicating media, unless one decides to be a jackass or for some other reason. There are many bloggers. If a company disassociates with one blogger, they can find 100s of more. Sorry to say, but in their opinion, and in a crude language- we're like tissue papers.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

@Sorc: Naba says she hates being treated like a commodity and you say that she is one. I say that the commodity is space on the blog and not the blogger and you say they will treat you like tissue paper so what are you going to do about it.

Not all of us are blessed with the sort of wide-ranging knowledge and acuity of intelligence that you possess nor of that high moral attitude to not attempting contests. Rachna has acquired an MBA and worked in marketing without acquiring a scintilla of idea about promotional products and I have acquired an MBA and worked in middle management without being able to recognise the difference between the power of a TV channel and an individual blogger. Does not mean that we find it pleasant to be insulted even by a person of your outstanding abilities.

C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Naba! In the context of your specific issue some Tax information gleaned from the Net 1. Gift tax is the problem of the recipient of the gift and there seem to be no Tax Deduction at Source obligations on the giver. 2. Contest wins do not seem to fall under Gifts but are either to be classified under wins from Lotteries - u/s194B - in which case 30% tax remittance needs to be made by the giver as TDS with option to collect from recipient. There is some ambiguity here since there is a divergent opinion on whether money earned by skill in a contest can be classified as lottery win. If it cannot, again TDS obligations do not lie but the recipient is supposed to add the amount (Fair Market value if prize is in kind) to income after subtracting a total of Rs. 5000/= exemption allowed for a year for casual income. I SEE NO REASON WHY SOMEONE CANNOT REMIT THE TAX AS PART OF THE WIN INSTEAD OF BURDENING A BLOGGER WITH THE OBLIGATION. They can always scale down the value of the gift to suit their budget.

Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Yes Suresh ... Moreover the amount over which gift tax is levied is 50k for this fiscal as far as I found out.. but whatever they mentioned wasn't close to anything I found on the net...

And yes Suresh you are very right about the attitude of cheating by these sponsors and websites... I felt exactly the same, and even insulted to an extent!

Saru Singhal
Saru Singhal
from Toronto
5 years ago

This is very unfortunate. I've deleted the link of the sponsor from my entry as a sign of protest. Asking for tax is not wrong, it is how they treat bloggers. 

Also, we should start a campaign - 'Give Respect to Bloggers.' 

Sherna Jayaraman
from Hyderabad
5 years ago

I am in for the campaign :) "Give respect to bloggers"

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
5 years ago

I already made a post on the topics of contests. This has been building up in me for a while. Reading about this today morning served as a catalyst.

Rachna Parmar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Good idea, Saru! Maybe we can all do similar posts and post them as "Give respect to Bloggers" posts! What say?

Animesh
from Mumbai
5 years ago

I don't like this tagline, "GIve respect to bloggers". Respect is not asked for, it is earned!

Saru Singhal
from Toronto
5 years ago

@Rachna- Yeah, it's a good idea but we have to format it and let more bloggers join in. I'm waiting for TF's post and we can take points from there. :)

@Animesh- I am not adament on tagline, keep whatever is mutually decided. Also, there is a phrase, 'Respect is never demanded, it is always commanded.' However, it seems sponsors forget the word 'respect' when it comes to bloggers. And I think, we have earned it. Sometimes, we need to tell others that their behavior is not OK. There is nothing wrong is asking for what you rightfully deserve.

Animesh
from Mumbai
5 years ago

I'll again say, don't ask for respect, command it (as you said). It'll come from our own behaviour. Why not we boycott all defaulting sponsors. Even our campaigns may revolve around it. We can publicly (on social networking sites) boycott all defaulting sponsors and blog about their unethical behaviour.

Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
5 years ago

I'm for boycotting defaulting sponsors too! 

Sherna Jayaraman
Sherna Jayaraman
from Hyderabad
5 years ago

It was indeed surprising to learn that a blogger was asked to pay for her prize!I agree and support your motive of getting the "corporate ethics" right.We (IndiTeam & Indibloggers) SHOULD do something about this. Definitely.

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Snuffles!!!! >_>'

Sherna Jayaraman
from Hyderabad
5 years ago

have you taken a vow or sumthing? jab deko jahan dekho "snuffles >_>","snuffles >_>" laga rakha hai...inditalk,forum,discussions...kabhi uske aage bhi to bolo?  mmRRRRReeeeoowwww

I have joined a couple of contests only. But it was more for fun. I feel it is so cheap that one has to go around seeking and ensuring we get the prize that we have won. And the tax piece felt like a huge scam...I used to get calls from travel sites in USA where they woud say pay this much towards taxes and we will let you  stay in Las Vegas for 3 nights and blah blah. Basically it meant I coughed up money. What is worser here is the amount of money asked from Nabanita. if 30% tax, then is the gift worth rs 24k????

Nabanita Dhar
Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Thanks for all the support guys! And I agree we cannot be taken for a ride by these sites... They need to know we are not dimwits and we won't take it lying down...Even if they don't respond and do something about it , we will make sure more and more bloggers get to know about it!

Saru Singhal
Saru Singhal
from Toronto
5 years ago

@TF: Please include 'Give Respect to Bloggers' point in your post. We seriously need some code of conduct.

@Snuffles: Thank you for your support! 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
5 years ago

@ Saru - Do you want me to include that line at the end of my post? Is that a standard line everyone is including in their posts. Please do let me know if something like that is on. I will be glad to include.

Raowords
Raowords
from Bengaluru
5 years ago

Why can't a few bloggers are invited during the discussion between IndiTeam and the Marketing Compaies, IndiTeam might have few bloggers, but as they are doing business they might not put across the concerns of the bloggers to these marketing companies.

This also gives a platform to lay terms and conditions across the board, currently T&C are only for bloggers.

Earlier in Expedia contest, a winner would be contacted by phone, and if he is unavailable at the time, they would chuck that winner and nominate other person, this was an insane rule and i don't know how IndiTeam agreed to this.

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Problems with Indiblogger have been relatively minor - issues of gifts not being received are mainly related to the gift hampers promised to every entry. And, at that, Indiblogger does put in the effort to set things right. (I, of course, have no knowledge of Expedia - before my time here)

Also, if one assumes that such contests are desirable, I'd say that the balance of power between Indiblogger and the companies is tilted too far in favor of the companies. I doubt that Indiblogger can put in too many pre-conditions for contests. There are, after all, a lot of other blogging integrators in the country/world.

One thing I can suggest for Indiblogger is that they can, at least, convince the companies to ensure that the TDS is factored into the gift value and this sort of shameful behavior of seeking money from the winners is avoided (Not that it has happened in Indiblogger yet to my knowledge but as a matter of precaution). Also, where these 'gift hampers' are not the basis for the competition, exhibit preference for e-vouchers. In fact, if it is not possible I'd rather they avoided this 'all valid entries get gift hampers' nonsense as far as possible unless it can be ensured.

If any financial implications are there for the winners it needs be mentioned upfront in the contest page and not buried in the T&C. And, from my knowledge of T&C in general, it normally is something like 'Tax implications, if any, shall be the responsibility of the winners' and nothing as specific as the amounts or the expectation that it needs to be paid upfront.

I know, there will always be the righteous exclamation that you should have read the T&C and all that but it is a fact that such things are buried there precisely in the expectation that bloggers won't read them. This is the sort of truthfulness that Yudhishtir exhibited when he said that 'The elephant Aswaththama has been killed' knowing full well that Krishna intended to drown out that 'The elephant' part. One could always keep arguing that Drona should have had keener ears or something.

What I think is needed is a platform where bloggers can get an idea of which companies/blogging platforms treat bloggers with such disrespect so that we know to avoid them and their contests.

swati kalwar
swati kalwar
from Mumbai
5 years ago

Unfortunately I am also one of the winners of the same contest as Naba. To be true this was the first contest I entered with my blog and unfortunately won it too. I am surely gonna write about this . I am not paying the tax till the explain in legal terms how the tax is applicable. I seriously don't care if I have to let go the i-pad. Also after speaking to a few of my friends I was told the act according to what they are asking us to pay is not gift tax but Tax on winnings from lottery. This has upset me a lot. We put so much effort in writing and they call it lottery :( They are not replying to our mails and also no T&C were mentioned before the contest started not even the words T&C* apply were written forget about the details.

Animesh
from Mumbai
5 years ago

"Winning from lottery"? Are you serious? All the creative work is being termed as lottery? If that is how winners are decided, I'd rather start a blog for contests and then put any strange word in the post and submit for the contest. 

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Hey Ani, Swati and Sweta! Read the next page where I have replied to this issue. This treatment of this income as lottery income is not the doing of sponsors but the classification prescribed by the Income Tax deptt.

sweta tiwary
sweta tiwary
from bangalore
5 years ago

This is extremely sad and we bloggers should not tolerate this. till now I won only one contest and that sponsor did not ask for any fee or tax against the prize.

we try hard and write creative posts, we believe that there is someone reading all the entries and then deciding the most creative & unique post as the winner. but then if they call it a lottery then what is the use of creativity. then they should do such contests on twitter or face book.

They know that we bloggers have the power to influence and they are using us for free, this can not be tolerated.

Its a year and I have not got the lakme hamper, I feel bad asking for same thing again & again and gave up. yes it is a small hamper, still they promised to give it so they should stick to their words.they got free publicity and gave nothing in return (where as they promised to give something) This is not done sponsors!! if you can not afford the hampers/goodies then don't give such words. keep only one winner but deliver what you promised.

C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

As far as that 'Lottery' thing goes, I am afraid we cannot be blaming either the blogging platform or the Sponsors. The classification of such income as Income from Lottery etc. under section 194B is the problem created by the Income tax Laws. So, there is no need to feel hurt or insulted because it comes under such classification. We all know how wonderfully the Government works.

The issue here is that for any such income 30% of the value has to be remitted to Government by the person giving the prizes. Whether he chooses to give it himself or collect it from the recipient is his decision. So, IF THE SPONSOR HAD DECIDED TO COLLECT THE MONEY FROM THE WINNER WHY WAS IT NOT MENTIONED ALONG WITH THE DECLARATION OF THE CONTEST? MORE TO THE POINT WHY DID HE NOT DECIDE TO BEAR IT HIMSELF AND EITHER SCALE DOWN THE PRIZES TO SUIT HIS BUDGET OR INCREASE THE BUDGET TO SUIT?

In this case, Gillette is so poor that it can hand out 25k worth prize but is unable to shell out an additional 8k for tax? It is preferable to appear like a cheapskate than to add 30% to their cost? Why add, if they had only cut down the value of their prizes, neither would the cost have gone up nor would they have appeared like penny-pinchers!

Animesh
from Mumbai
5 years ago

There is a difference in KBC and blogging contestes. KBC still needs some amount of luck

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Animesh! I am not the guy drafting the IT laws here or acting on them. So no point arguing the case here. The issue is that up to now there are only 2 options for treating contest wins 1. Lottery wins and 2. Casual Income. In the former case, the onus of deducting tax is on the person giving the prize and the deduction is 30%. In the latter case you have to take the Fair Market value of all prizes received in the year, deduct Rs.5000/=, and add the net amount to your taxable income. Which of the two is correct is not yet clear and will depend upon the interpretations of the IT commissioners unless there is a clarificatory circular or a conclusive case law.

swati kalwar
swati kalwar
from Mumbai
5 years ago

@Chetan frankly I am not from legal background but from what I have read the lottery tax applies when winners are picked randomly and not based on skill and they have made some kind of purchase to participate. 

We were not told to purchase any product . Also they are lying to us that it is gift tax and sendig us the the details of 194B in the name of gift tax. Also the sponsors gave me a reason that I have to pay the tax because others are readily paying which was also a lie.

The only reason I am not blaming the platform is that even they didnot know about the hidden T&C. But yes I hope they take care of this in future

The sponsors have stopped repling to our mails.  Why did gillete choose 5 winners if they cannot afford to give away 5 i-pads??

 Lying and not replying is unprofessional and unethical Undecided

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
5 years ago

Chetan??? Who? Do you address this to me?

Well! The issue here is legally unclear. It was tested on Kaun Banega Crorepati legally I think. There are other case laws which are ambiguous. If a sponsor thinks it is taxable under section 194B I do not see that in and of itself as reprehensible.

What is reprehensible is that the winner is being asked to cough up - that I have made clear. Maybe in all contests where no such issues have arisen, the sponsor has paid that 30% without asking the winners to do so. So, technically, it was always treated like Lottery Income by them but it never came to our notice since we were not asked to pay. Under IT, if they have not done so, then the amount of contest win - cash or kind - is taxable in your hands subject to a deduction of Rs. 5000/- per annum allowed for casual income.

All the rest of the behavior of the sponsor or his agent, i am in agreement with you - else why would I hv started this thread?

Ranjith
Ranjith
from hyderabad
5 years ago

Since yesterday, I was confused as to why this discussion had sprang up. Understood the reason today after reading Nabanita's post. What has happened is unfortunate and appears to be a form of cheating! Paying 8k for something which is rightfully ours isn't acceptable. They should have mentioned it in the Terms and Conditions. And I never received the voucher which was promised for all in the Gillette contest held on that site.

 I only hope that such a thing doesn't happen with IndiBlogger. I have received all my prizes without any follow up, except for one- the courier guy called and asked for the address but did not deliver it. He probably couldn't find the address. I had to send just a single mail to IB and the prize reached me within a week or two without any further follow up. And regarding the hampers, I don't claim that I have received all the hampers. But, I think that if I had sent a mail saying the same, I would have received them. Infact, I sometimes feel surprised seeing contest threads, 6 to 9 months old surfacing up with someone saying that their hamper was delivered. 


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