Over the last few weeks competitions, compers and comping have popped up in the news. The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Sun, Real People Magazine and even BBC Breakfast have all covered comping in some form or other. We thought we’d have a look at some of them and see what they’re saying.
This Daily Express article features “Britain’s obsessive ‘compers’, people who are hooked on entering competitions and have now won almost £500,000 in prizes”. It features three different ladies who have been successful with competitions in their own way. It’s a good informative article without being judgmental towards those people taking part. The article wasn’t open to comments.
This was the Daily Mail’s second article on competitions in recent months. In this one Maria Knight explains how she’s won £10,000 of prizes over three years by entering competitions. In the article, Maria describes herself as a “professional quiz competitor” – a term we really wish journalists and compers would stop using! The Daily Mail sparked debate by asking the question – “why not find a job?”. This plus a comment by a PR person being dismissive about compers sparked some debate on our forums and also on The Daily Mail.
The Sun jumped on the competition entering bandwagon by featuring Wendy Sheldon and her brother Kev. They have “won a mountain of prizes by entering two competitions a day for the past thirty years”. Amongst their prizes are a Miami holiday and three year’s of condoms which they donated to a health clinic. It’s a nice little article that did pick up some mixed comments.
Di Coke, as featured in The Daily Express above, pops up again to share her enthusiasm for comping on BBC Breakfast. Interestingly the article includes a promoter, Arena Flowers discussing why they use competitions and a Professor claiming that comping, gaming and gambling are converging.
Real People Magazine have also done a comping feature in their latest issue. Although we’ve not seen it, we think it’s pretty much along the same lines as The Daily Express one above.
So, No Mention Of Loquax?
One thing Loquax users will note is that there’s no mention of this site in any of the articles. Firstly we weren’t approached – that’s despite being #1 in Google for “competitions”, having sizeable Twitter and Facebook followings and being quite simply the best site. We’re never quite sure how journalists and researchers miss us – but they do!
Secondly as we’re only occasional compers it’s unlikely that we have a personal story that will fit in with these kind of articles. The Loquax site, which after all is the star of the show, has had good free press over the years and from experience we know that the media spotlight shines brighter at different times so we don’t sweat it. That said, the occasional mention is quite nice!
Our View Of The Articles!
Aside from not mentioning Loquax, lol, there’s a couple of things that bug us about competition articles. Firstly, compers being described as “professional”. It’s a ridiculous phrase and should never ever be used to describe someone who enjoys comping as a hobby. The second bugbear is mentioning eBay as a way to earn money from competition wins. We know it happens and we know promoters hate it happening – so there’s no point giving them fuel to dislike compers more.
That said, only one article above uses the word “professional” and no one mentions eBay. The Daily Mail article probably sparked the most debate as they went for the “is comping worth it” angle – completely different to the advert-article they ran in December 2011 which suggested some compers were “turning winning things into a full-time job”.
The other articles are interesting and thankfully portray comping in a good light. Many people worry that such articles will result in a surge of new compers, but it tends to generate a few days of curiosity rather than anything else.
For us, the most interesting comment came from Professor Mark Griffiths, the UK’s only Professor of gambling studies. He claimed that comping, gaming and gambling are converging. Well, we disagree with that! Whilst Loquax does converge these things on the website we know that the mentality and demographic in each area is completely different.
If we said to a comper that they could have a 25,000 to 1 chance of winning £100,000 they’d probably bite our hand off and want to know where to enter! If we told them that in order to enter for those odds they’d need to deposit £5 at a bingo site to get entry to a “free game”, then many would back down. And yet, those were the odds offered at Foxy Bingo last Friday and two people won £50,000 each!
Even the Daily Mail would have to concede that £50,000 for two minutes work wasn’t bad value.