ALBANY, N.Y. — A&P has agreed to settle charges that it violated New York State law in conducting a sweepstakes promotion in March of this year, according to the New York State Attorney General's office here.
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The company has agreed to hire a compliance officer to monitor such promotions. It also agreed to make changes in the way it conducts its campaigns, and pay $102,000 in fines.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said that when the supermarket chain, based in Montvale, N.J., ran its A&P Frozen Food Month 2013 Sweepstakes, it did not adequately inform consumers that no purchase was necessary to enter.
“Under New York State law, companies that conduct sweepstakes must play by the rules by providing a level playing field for consumers, including those who do not make a purchase,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Today’s settlement ensures that A&P, which has previously ignored the law in this area, will provide an alternate method of entry which does not require a purchase and to fully inform consumers that no purchase is necessary to enter and win a sweepstakes. Because of the repeat violations, we are requiring that A&P hire a compliance officer and put strict safeguards in place.”
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Under terms of the promotion, consumers who spent $50 or more on frozen food products using an A&P Club Card were automatically entered in the sweepstakes at checkout. Winners were randomly determined and received $350 in gift cards. Consumers could enter without making a purchase, but the company did not make that information clear and impled that a purchase was necessary, the Attorney General's office said.
A&P had settled similar charges in 2004 and 2005, resulting in the more severe penalty in its latest settlement.
An A&P spokesman told SN the company does not comment on legal matters.
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