A SELF-regulating mechanism has been proposed for platforms and service providers of texting competition and text promotions.
And media and mobile companies have until August 13 to get their business in order so they do not breach the Commerce Commission Decree 2010.
Fiji Commerce Commission chairman Doctor Mahendra Reddy said the move to establish a framework for self-regulation followed numerous complaints over the manner in which texting competitions and promotions were carried out by media outlets.
He said promoters and media outlets were inclined in the past to focus on the benefits of their products while consumers - confronted with lack of relevant information, complexity and uncertainty - were tempted to make decisions based on the basis of advertisements and text messages alone.
"The objective of the guidelines is to engender a more confident and informed customer," Dr Reddy said.
The guidelines dictate that drawing time and date may not be extended in the absence of sufficient entries, an adequate description of prizes and other items offered to all or a substantial majority of participants, including the number of major prizes.
"An insufficient number of entries, or entries of inadequate quality are not acceptable reasons for changing the closing date of a competition or withholding prizes. Once the closing date for a competition is reached, the advertised prizes must be awarded, notwithstanding the number of entries. Organisers and media outlets broadcasting the competition and promotion are required to also provide a closing time for texting competitions," Dr Reddy said.
In the event of extreme or unforeseeable disruptions like power outages or technical problems, such promotions may be extended - but only for the corresponding duration as that of such glitches, he said.
Any extension of such promotions must be made public, Dr Reddy said.