New Mexico Honda dealer scratches bungled sweepstakes

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
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."

More Information