Monday, April 21, 2008

Deal or No Deal Lawsuit Tossed


The Georgia Supreme Court has tossed out a lawsuit that we've mentioned here before, challenging NBC's "Lucky Case" promotion on its "Deal or No Deal" program. See story here.


We never thought the lawsuit had much merit, despite the fact that we've always viewed the misnomered "Lucky Case" (lucky for NBC, maybe) game as a complete rip-off of gullible viewers.


In the Lucky Case promotion, at-home viewers can send a $.99 premium text message to NBC for a shot at winning $10,000 (sometimes more, as above) in a lottery with other viewers. Small text on the screen also advises that you can play for free on NBC's website. The network has made hundreds of millions of dollars on the game, which explains why it was fully willing to devote several minutes of presumably valuable commercial time to the promotion on each segment of the show.


Some of our readers have commented that the folks playing the game presumably know they are paying $.99 per text message to play the silly promotion, and we agree, at least after they get one bill from the phone company.


Still, the game is a lottery. If NBC wants to run a lottery on the air, it ought to post the odds of winning as part of its promotion. Clearly, those odds are low--they certainly aren't worth spending nearly $1 per entry. At some point, the show becomes an excuse for the promotion, rather than the promotion being for the show.


Perhaps NBC should let the pot reflect the number of entrants. Then at least the clearly lucky winning schmo would get a nice big pile of cash.

1 comment:

J ohn Martin said...

"Some of our readers have commented that the folks playing the game presumably know they are paying $.99 per text message to play the silly promotion, and we agree, at least after they get one bill from the phone company."

Presumably know?! If you own a cell phone, and you DON'T know what charges are being levied to you, let me know who you are because I have a bridge in Nantucket to sell.

Accept it, the judge saw what any normal, sane person would see in this case. The plaintiffs here were upset that their phone bills were so high, and wanted somebody else to pay for their mistakes.

This is the same thing as these kids who send hundreds of text messages and pictures to their friends, and then mom and dad get stuck with the phone bill.

Oh, and another point, the "Lucky Case Game" is no more, their promotion now allows people to text in their choice for the next model on the show. Yes, there still is a drawing for $10,000, and there is STILL the free way to enter the drawing by going to the DOND website at NBC.com. The major change is that now, the game is now not played in GA as well as a few other states and locations, which btw is where the "sore losers" were from.

A few have taken away this from the many.

I compliment the judges on this one. Your choice to play, your choice to pay.