Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Ringwood Megahome competition 'assessed' by advertising authority

Mark and Sharon Beresford Image copyright Winamegahome.co.uk
Image caption Mark and Sharon Beresford launched the Win a Megahome competition in March 2018.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says it is "assessing" complaints about a competition to win a £3m house in which nobody received the top prize.

Mark and Sharon Beresford offered their luxury home in Ringwood, Hampshire, to competition entrants last year.

Ticket sales totalled only £750,000 and the couple received complaints for changing the prize to £110,000 cash.

The Beresfords said the alternative prize fully complied with competition rules and laws.

Image caption Andrew Bruce, investigations manager at the Advertising Standards Authority, said complaints had been received about the competition

Andrew Bruce, investigations manager at the ASA, said: "The rules say you need to offer the prize or a reasonable equivalent.

"The onus is on the promoter to make sure that if you want to offer a house as the central prize in this promotion, you need to make sure you can deliver on that promise."

The ASA said it had received 14 complaints about Win A Megahome Limited and was in "the early stages of assessing".

The competition to win the 7,000sq ft Huf Haus was launched in March 2018.

Image copyright Winamegahome.co.uk
Image caption Under the terms and conditions of the competition, if fewer than 175,000 tickets were sold, a cash prize would be offered instead.

After it closed at the end of the year, the Beresfords announced "almost 30,000" tickets had been sold.

Under the terms and conditions, if fewer than 175,000 tickets were sold, a cash prize would be offered instead.

The terms allowed the couple to keep a quarter of the revenue, leaving the rest for prize money, minus the costs of promoting the competition.

It left £110,070 which was won by an unnamed person from Christchurch.

Image caption The luxury home was described as "an idyllic house in a fantastic location"

Mr Beresford said the eventual prize was "substantial" and calculated in accordance with the terms.

He previously told the BBC: "The costs incurred were very high and began in 2016 with extensive legal advice and opinions about the interpretation of the rules covering prize draw competitions.

"We will file our accounts in line with statutory requirements."

He declined to comment on the ASA's remarks.

See more on Inside Out on BBC One in the south of England at 19:30 GMT.

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