• Jul 23, 2007
We've all gotten those scratch-off direct-mailings from car dealers that, when the silver is removed, reveals that you've won an amazing prize. Excitement ensues, until you run next door to tell your neighbor only to discover he, too, had "won." The small print usually brings you back to reality with words like "off the price of a new car" or "as long as your name begins with X and you can prove birth on another planet."
But in a recent direct mail piece from Roswell Honda in New Mexico, everyone was a winner, alien genetics or not. The scratch-off sweepstakes on the gaudily-colored mailing gave every recipient $1,000 cash. A mistake? You betcha.

The ad agency behind the promotion, Force Media Group, is taking responsibility for the printing error, and is trying to make good by offering a second chance drawing to all 30,000 recipients. The grand prize is now $5,000 with 20 second place offers of $1,000. All recipients of the ad piece will get a $5 gift card and a letter from the ad agency. Force Media is also buying a full-page ad in a local newspaper to apologize and explain.

Force Media's press release is after the jump for the curious.

With Roswell Honda in need of some good PR, New Mexico might just be the place to look for good deals on new Hondas.

[Source: AdAge]

'Another Chance' Sweepstakes Set after Printing Error Causes Mishap

Roswell, NM – July 19, 2007 – Thirty thousand people will get another chance – a better chance,
in fact – to win money after a printing mistake made all of them a $1,000 winner in a car dealer's
sweepstakes mailing.
Jim Fitzpatrick of Atlanta‐based Force Events said a printing mistake made every recipient of
30,000 direct mail promotional game pieces a $1,000 winner because all the "scratch‐offs" covered over
a prize. As indicated on the mailing, only one grand prize of $1000 was to be awarded out of the 50,000
mailings.
The town of Roswell, N.M., site of the dealership, was overrun for the last two days by
consumers who thought that they had won $1,000. Another 20,000 of the erroneous flyers were
stopped at the post office when Force Events realized the error.
"It was a printing error," said Mr. Fitzpatrick. "Instead of only one ticket in 50,000 having the
winning notification under the scratch‐off, they all did. We're going to make up for that in this new
sweepstakes by actually increasing both the value and number of prizes offered as well as by
dramatically increasing the chances of winning."
"The dealer and Force looked at the situation and decided we had to make it better to make it
right," Mr. Fitzpatrick said. "We apologize for any inconvenience the original mailing may have caused."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Aren't they bound to give their prize?
      • 7 Years Ago
      If i was a resident i wouldn't want a stinkin' second drawing. Honor your ad. End of story.
      • 7 Years Ago
      All those who think that the dealership should pay need to be a little less bitter.
      If the dealership paid up, it would cost $30,000,000, not a small chunk of change, especially for a genuine mistake.
      Relax people, have a heart!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the ad agency should pay. Not the dealership.

        Still - if you had a winning lotto ticket and the state said "oops" I bet you wouldn't accept $5 (aka a McMeal Deal) as a consolation prize.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the grand prize spelled out in the rules was 1000 and there was only one of them, then any blame is on the ad agency, if any.

      If they wanted to be tools, they could say that, yes, the 1000 buck prize was awarded to 5000 people, and send out 5000 checks for 20 cents.

      On a more important note to all spammers out there, you've got a gullible crowd in New Mexico who actually reads junk mail.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they wouldn't have this problem if they hadn't used that "weather balloon" to distribute the things.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How do you increase the chances of winning from 100%?

      And no, there's a clause that allows for typos and misprints to cancel an advertised price or sale.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Some Honda models look like they came from outer space anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      so really they meant it as a cheap marketing ploy... IMO they ought to pay it out and learn their lesson! Who is not sick of these cheesy tactics?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Forget all these crazy ad campaigns, just play that CR-V commercial with the Elvis music.