Pinterest Gets Tough On Contest Rules By Adding New Language To Its Acceptable Use Policy

pinterest-logo-220After including a complete set of “Dos and Don’ts” for contests on its Brand Guidelines page in May, Pinterest has taken further action to enforce its contest rules by updating its Acceptable Use Policy this week.

According to a blog post on the social media’s Business Blog:

A few months ago, we updated our contest guidelines to reflect what we’d learned about how contests affect the Pinner experience. We’re now adding these guidelines to our Acceptable Use Policy. That means that, moving forward, we won’t allow contests that:

  • Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or the promotion
  • Require people to Pin from a selection (like a website or list of Pins)
  • Make people Pin the contest rules
  • Run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like or follow represents an entry
  • Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment
  • Ask to vote with Pins, boards or likes
  • Require a minimum number of Pins

This update follows an exchange between Pinterest’s legal team and Resourceful Mommy blogger Amy Lupold Bair. Lupold claims Pinterest’s legal team and its head of user policy contacted her regarding her promotion of the “Pinning Party” events she hosts on Twitter.

“Pinterest came to me to let me know that they are not currently contesting the mark, I just can’t enforce it. No asking anyone else not to use it,” writes Lupold on her blog, concerning her trademarked ‘Pinning Party’ term, “The events, however, must stop immediately.”

The same day Pinterest contacted Lupold, the social media site updated its Acceptable Use Policy with the new contest rules.

As expected, Pinterest’s business blog post announcing the Acceptable Use Policy update made no reference to Lupold, but there was a lengthy comment from someone claiming to be with Pinterest in response to an article on covering Lupold’s dispute with the social media site:

The commenter wrote:

Tons of bloggers and businesses and everyday people have Pinning parties with their friends and we think that’s awesome. That’s why we reached out to Amy. She trademarked the term “Pinning  party” and was actually sending cease and desist letters to brands and other bloggers demanding that they stop using the phrase or license it from her.

These people reached out to us about it, so we reached out to Amy.

We believe the Pinterest community should be able to use the phrase Pinning party without being hit by a C+D. For Amy, “Pinning party” has a very specific meaning for her business but it doesn’t mean that all uses of “Pinning parties” are against our policies.

People have been having Pinning parties for a long time and we think anyone should continue to be able to.

While we were talking to Amy, we also wanted to make sure she understood our policies around contests and promotions. We’ve actually added these guidelines to our Acceptable Use Policy today to make it clear where we stand.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Legal: Copyright & Trademark | Pinterest: Business Use & Advertising | Pinterest: Legal | Pinterest: Spam | Social Media Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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