There’s been an odd trend over the last few years with ads on TV suggesting that you search for them rather than go directly to their website. ITV themselves have now got in on the act, so rather than saying go to itv.com/win to enter their latest competitions, they say Search ITV Win instead.
Before we go any further – if you’re looking to enter, here’s our page on ITV Win competitions.
When you make a lot of your money from selling advertising, as commercial TV stations do, it seems a bit odd to be telling people to go to Google or Bing first and search for them there instead.
There is a reason this happens though, and it’s not what you might think!
Search ITV Win
The concept of typing Search ITV Win into Google is designed to avoid typos and the like preventing people from finding whatever is being advertised, in this case the current paid competitions being promoted on their shows.
The problem, of course, is ITV don’t own Bing or Google, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll appear at the top of the search results when you search for whatever they tell you to search for.
Don’t Pay For What You Can Do For Free
In fact, there have been lots of cases where people searching for things like free government services find themselves on a website that appears at the top of search results and charges them to do exactly the same task as you can do for free on the government website.
Hold up I hear you say! Isn’t that exactly what sites like Enter Competitions Online do? Actually, we sort of do the opposite. While ITV want you to pay to enter their competitions, we go to great lengths to show you the free way to enter, or at least nearly free. You still need a stamp and an envelope, but that’s still much cheaper than paying for the £1.50 or £2.00 entry fees for the phone, text or online entries.
At the time of writing, we don’t even list the phone numbers to call, although we do link to the ITV Win website from time to time, as it’s much clearer there that it’s not free to enter online (with the exception of the free competitions like Andi Peters’ Free Cash Friday giveaway).
Our suspicion is that in time ITV will revert to just giving the web address for their site rather than telling you to search for something, but perhaps they know something we don’t.
In the meantime, if you do start searching like that, make sure you’re on the correct website before you enter any payment details. ITV use PayPal for processing online entry fees, so it should be clear who you’re paying when you get your wallet or purse out.
As a final reminder, whenever you enter your personal or payment details on a website, always look for the padlock on the address bar at the top of your browser. If you’re sure you’re on the correct website, that will also tell you you’ve got a secure connection too.