Pin to Win – Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Contests and Promotions

With the meteoric rise of Pinterest, many companies are leveraging its popularity. One way this is happening is that Brands are creating contests and promotions around users “pins.” This is a growing trend in the use of social media for contests, promotions and sweepstakes. However, this is an area that is highly regulated, and the law can vary widely from state to state. As a result, Pinterest has issued new Promotions and Marketing Policies.

Among other things, Pinterest has provided the following list of Do’s and Don’ts


  • Encourage authenticity: Reward the quality of pinning, not just the quantity of it.
  • Promote your contest: Link to your Pinterest account or contest board from your website, social media and marketing channels.
  • Prevent spam: Read up on our anti-spam measures to help keep your contest fun and useful.
  • Make getting involved easy: Create clear instructions and a simple process.


  • Encourage spam: Steer clear of contests that encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment repeatedly.
  • Run a sweepstakes where each pin, repin, or like represents an entry. Ask pinners to vote with a repin or like.
  • Overdo it: Contests and promotions can be effective, but you don’t want to run a contest too often.
  • Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you: Make sure you don’t say or imply this anywhere in your marketing materials or branding.

Additionally, the Pinterest policies state:

If you use Pinterest as part of a contest or sweepstakes, you are responsible for making sure it complies with all legal requirements. This includes writing the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions), and complying with marketing regulations (ex:, registration requirements and regulatory approvals). These rules can vary from place to place, so please work with a lawyer or other expert to make sure you’re in compliance. You should also always comply with our Terms of Service. Please note that Pinterest isn’t responsible or liable in any way to you if you use us as part of your promotion.

The rise of promotions and contests on Pinterest is part of an overall trend regarding the increased use of gamblification. For more information on the legal issues with gamblification, please email us for a copy of our Client Advisory on Legal Issues with Gamblification.