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If you operate a business, you may have considered running a trade promotion to gain more business exposure and sales. Trade promotions are a common marketing technique to increase brand exposure and generate interest in particular products. It is important to understand that trade promotions are heavily regulated by the respective state governments, particularly if you want to advertise them. This article will discuss each Australian state and territories’ respective rules on advertising trade promotions. These rules will apply in addition to the Australian Consumer Law requirements concerning misleading and deceptive conduct.

In general, for each Australian state and territory, if you require an authority to operate your competition, this must be included in your advertising material. Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory do not have specific rules for advertising trade promotions.

NSW Rules

In New South Wales, your trade promotion terms and conditions should be clearly advertised and readily available to customers and regulators. This ensures that entrants can make an informed decision before choosing to enter the competition.

All advertising material, including marketing emails, social media posts and print advertisements, should include a link or clear instructions on accessing the promotion’s terms and conditions. All material should also set out the total prize pool and the relevant dates of the competition. 

Additionally, you should also include any unusual or onerous conditions of entry in the advertising material. These unusual conditions may include limits on the number of entrants.

The NSW regulator, Fair Trading, gives some additional guidance on Trade Promotion advertising materials as follows:

  • the advertisements must not encourage illegal activity or breaking the law;
  • you should not depict children participating in the promotion; and
  • the advertisements should not suggest that winning is guaranteed or that it will improve an entrant’s financial prospects.

SA Rules

The Lotteries Regulations 2021 (SA) sets out different advertising rules for the type of gaming activity. These rules will cover instant win promotions in addition to major and minor trade promotions.

Type of Lottery


Advertising Rules

Major trade promotion

Total prize value is over $5,000.

All advertisements must include:

  • the promotion permit number;
  • a description of the entry process;
  • a description and value of prizes to be won; and
  • how to access the full terms and conditions.

Minor trade promotion

Total prize value is under $5,000.

All advertisements must include:

  • trading entity;
  • a description of the entry process;
  • a description and value of prizes to be won; and
  • how to access the full terms and conditions.

Instant Win

Promotions using instant scratch or break-over draw methods.

All advertisements must include:

  • trading entity;
  • licence number and name and address of licensee (unless the advertisement is broadcast);
  • duration of the lottery;
  • a description and value of prizes to be won; and
  • how to access the full terms and conditions.

VIC Rules

The Victorian regulator, Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor, has provided the following guidance on promotional material for trade promotions. Promotional material should not:

  • encourage gambling or promote irresponsible gambling;
  • suggest that entering the promotion will improve an individual’s financial position and prospects; or
  • suggest that an individual’s skill will impact the outcome of a game of the chance.

All promotional material should include the following details:

  • the closing date of the lottery;
  • where and when the lottery will be drawn;
  • the name and date of the publication of the winning entrant; and
  • the lottery entry requirements.

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WA Rules

In WA, the quintessential advertising rule is all advertising material must include a description of the prizes and the lottery terms and conditions.

The exceptions to this rule are a follows:

  1. For lotteries conducted via audio or visual media, you must include a description for prizes included in the broadcast. However, the broadcast can provide details on accessing the full terms and conditions; and
  2. For lotteries conducted by other electronic means, all advertising must include a description for prizes and details on accessing the full terms and conditions.

It is important to note that if the lottery is conducted online or by audio, visual and electronic means, you must provide a copy of the terms and conditions to the WA regulator before commencing the lottery.

QLD Rules

Queensland has limited advertising requirements. All advertising of a promotional game must include any costs of phone entry if applicable, and the full terms and conditions should be readily available.

Outside of these requirements, general advertising principles will apply. Namely, that the advertising is:

  • not offensive or indecent;
  • based on fact; and
  • not misleading or deceptive.

NT Rules

Similarly, the Northern Territory has limited guidance on advertising trade promotions. For example, all advertising material must not be misleading. Advertising must provide the NT permit number, or relevant inter-state equivalent, and the promotion terms and conditions where possible.

Key Takeaways

Trade promotions are a good way to generate business. Each state has different rules and advertising requirements, although Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory do not have any specific advertising rules. However, as a matter of best practice, all advertising material should comply with Australian Consumer Law standards to avoid misleading and deceptive conduct. Trade promotions should have terms and conditions that are compliant with the state legislation, and you may require a permit to run your promotion.

If you are planning on running a trade promotion lottery or have concerns about advertising your promotion, our experienced regulatory and compliance lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 1300 544 755 or visit our membership page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What regulations do I need to comply with when running a trade promotion?

You will have to comply with any state or local guidelines. You will also have to comply with additional regulations regarding lotteries, such as the Australian Consumer Law.

Do I need a permit to run a trade promotion?

This depends on the type of lottery you are running, as well as state and local guidelines. Check with your state’s trade promotion regulator for guidance.


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