Tech

“Win a Tesla”: Is Yomi Denzel’s “Biggest Instagram Contest” Legal?

On posters in the Paris metro, in TV ads and on the Instagram publications of big French influencers … for a few days, Yomi Denzel has been everywhere. The young entrepreneur, who has taken social networks by storm, is there to promote his competition, the jackpot of which is a Tesla car. But who is he, and how is it possible that this “biggest Instagram contest of 2021” exists?

BIG COMPETITION: WIN A TESLA “. The words are written big on the posters, along with the image of the car and a photo of a smiling man. To win, the sign informs us, nothing could be simpler: just ” follow @yomidenzel’s Instagram account “, and of ” comment on the last photo “.

Yomi Denzel’s contest poster // Source: Numerama

This huge poster was visible on the platforms of the Parisian metro station of Trocadéro, but also those of Pyramides, Robespierre, Oberkampf, in RER stations, or even in certain bus stops. She was spotted by reporters on Twitter (like journalist Constance Vilanova who wrote a full thread on the subject), as well as the editorial staff of Numerama, but especially by a lot of Internet users, who were quick to flood social networks with images of this sign, crossed in nature. And that’s not all: commercials of Yomi Denzel, touting her competition, also began to air on several TV channels.

How did an advertisement for an Instagram contest end up plastered in the metro and in commercials on NRJ12? And above all, who is Yomi Denzel, and what he offers come within the nails of the law as well as advertising regulations?

Hyper aggressive marketing

The objective of the competition is simple, the instructions precise: a Tesla, the equivalent of one year’s rent, a Chanel bag, a PS5, and an iPhone 13 are involved. There would be 5 lucky winners. In order to be able to select them, Yomi Denzel asks each person to subscribe to their Instagram page, to share their publication in story, and finally to comment on it by tagging two people. But, Yomi explains, in order to ” triple your chances of winning », It will be necessary to follow the additional instructions, which he will unveil progressively in his stories Instagram.

On social networks, since Monday, September 20, we only see him. Always smiling, posing on the Tesla in play and surrounded by other lots, Yomi Denzel took Instagram by storm. He is sometimes not alone in the photos: some of the most followed French influencers took part in his advertising campaign. We can notably see the influencer Jessica Thivenin (6.3 million subscribers on Instagram), the youtubeur Michou (3 million subscribers on Instagram), the singer Eva Queen (2 million followers) or the youtuber EmmaCakeCup ( 1.8 million on Instagram) pose with him on the Tesla.

Influencers EmmaCakeCup and EvaQueen posed with Yomi Denzel // Source: Numerama screenshot

In addition to his Instagram posts, Yomi Denzel has also bought commercials on TF1, NRJ12, W9 and TFX, which are to be broadcast for a week, he said in one of his stories. Numerama failed to view any of these spots, but many clips were posted on Instagram and shared by Yomi Denzel. We can see it with the Testa, and explain that, “ to promote entrepreneurship “, He decided to organize a competition, with prizes worth more than” 60,000 euros “.

The refrain is always the same: you have to go to Instagram, subscribe to your account, comment on your publications. And this extremely aggressive marketing is paying off: 24h, Yomi Denzel’s Instagram account received more than 200,000 new subscribers.

“From broke student to millionaire in a year”

Who is Yomi Denzel? The influencer repeats over and over on social networks that he passed ” from broke student to millionaire in one year »Thanks to dropshipping, his specialty. Dropshipping is a practice whose name is not yet well known to the general public, but which, however, is taking an increasingly important part in e-commerce. And it is largely thanks to this activity that he would have, according to his words, made a fortune. But in recent years, Yomi Denzel has not only been trading on the internet: he also sells training courses dedicated to dropshipping, which is also a new business in its own right.

Dropshipping works like traditional e-commerce, except that the managers of the site do not manage stock: when they receive an order, they place an order with their supplier so that they deliver the product directly to their home. customer. This role of reseller can pay off very big: by taking care of the presentation of products, it is possible to make a significant margin on certain purchases.

Yomi Denzel is organizing a contest to win a Tesla // Source: Nino Barbey for Numerama

And that is exactly what Yomi Denzel is aiming for with her training: a method that allows you to make a lot of money, directly from your sofa. With his courses, he promises techniques and expertise in online sales, but above all a way of life: that of the rich entrepreneur. A dream life of which he maintains the appearances with photos licked on Instagram, in which he displays luxury cars, watches and private jets. And the Instagram contest also helps run his business.

An operation that pays big

How can such a competition, which cost him more than 60,000 euros just to finance the Tesla and the gifts (not counting the amount of partnerships and ads), be profitable? Yomi Denzel knows exactly what he is doing: it is not the first time that he has organized such a competition. The first edition, which took place last year and which featured a Mercedes and other luxury packages, also had a lot of talk on social media – for good, but also with more critical thinking, like what the YouTuber Un Créatif did in 2020.

As Yomi Denzel explained last year, the organization of such a competition is the assurance of reaping profits ” on the long term “. In a video, published in September 2020, at the end of the previous edition of the competition, the entrepreneur declared having spent more than 200,000 euros for the organization of the competition, most of the sum having been used for the remuneration of influencers. ” Why spend so much money on this contest? Have I lost my mind? He asks, facing the camera. ” No: it’s because this competition will allow me to grow my various businesses.

The competition would have enabled him to gain more than 700,000 subscribers last year (when he only had 60,000). ” Among these people, some will go to see my videos on YouTube, and among those, some will decide to get into the online business, and buy my training. “. And the calculation is quickly done: at 1,500 euros training, it would suffice according to him that ” 200 people »Buy it so that it recovers its costs, and makes a profit. Far from being a generous act, this competition therefore has a stated and assumed objective: to buzz, and bring back as many new fans as possible. And this year’s edition, even bigger than last year, is also reaching more young people thanks to the television commercials.

Yomi Denzel’s contest is legal

It should be noted from the outset that the competition is not a trick. ” I confirm that the gifts do exist », Told us by telephone the judicial officer in charge of the drawing of lots for the winners, Maître Raphaël Moya, also confirming his involvement in the project. The bailiff also attested to the fact that the competition rules had indeed been deposited with him.

The deposit of the rules with a bailiff is a compulsory step for those who want to organize games: the creation of competitions is very framed by law. ” The competition must have rules, that it be deposited with a bailiff, that it specifies which prizes are to be won, and if there is an obligation to purchase. “, Lists Master David-Irving Tayer, a specialist lawyer contacted by Numerama. And the list is quite long: ” It is also necessary to specify if there are reimbursement terms, if the person who submitted the competition is properly identified in the commercial register. “. And after his formal checks, ” you also have to look at the regulations themselves, see if they are compliant, how the prizes are distributed, if it is the draw, etc. “.

The competition rules, which can be viewed here, seem to respect all the conditions dictated by law. However, it should be noted that the various advertisements and Instagram publications of Yomi Denzel never mention an important aspect of the contest, and that we only discover by reading the rules: only adults can participate. Which may question: Are all of the influencer new minor followers aware that even if they follow him, they will not be able to win a prize?

Métrobus, the advertising agency for Parisian public transport, confirms that the posters for the competition meet their conditions. ” We had the visuals validated before their display by the ARPP (the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority, editor’s note), which suggested providing more details on the date of the competition. Posters have been modified accordingly “, We are told over the phone. At M6, we also confirm that the campaign ” is currently broadcast on our antennas and is fully compliant “.

We have not yet received a response from the advertising agencies of TF1 and NRJ 12, or from Instagram. The platform rules authorize the organization of contests, but under certain conditions only, and the details are still unclear today.

Identity theft and scams

Just because the competition is legal doesn’t mean that it does not present a risk for the participants – especially for the youngest. Although minors are officially not allowed to participate, they represent a huge portion of Instagram users: 20% of French Instagram users are in college and high school. Organizing a competition seen by tens of thousands of minors, and during which Yomi Denzel’s luxurious lifestyle is constantly highlighted, risks attracting very young people to her training. However, these trainings are expensive and are never a guarantee of success.

And it’s not just for budding dropshippers that this kind of contest can be risky. As is often the case with Instagram contests, many malicious accounts take advantage of this to try to deceive participants and extract money from them. By using the same profile picture and account names very similar to Yomi Denzel’s, impostors do not hesitate to contact participants and promise them the jackpot in order to extract money from them. ” Congratulation “, Can we read in the message below,” you have a chance to win and only one LAST STEP for you to get this prize “. The fake account then asks the person to click on a link, to register ” for free », And to enter his credit card number. ” Remember you are the lucky ones to receive this message (Sic), he concludes, in order to add pressure.

The crooks are already active // ​​Source: Numerama screenshot

Obviously, you must not click on the link, and not enter your bank details. Yomi Denzel, who was warned, communicated well on the presence of usurpers and fake accounts in order to alert his community. But so far he has only done so story, which means that the warning will only be available for 24 hours on his account – the competition lasts a week, however.

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