One of the main four objections marketers must overcome when persuading people to enter their contest is: “I don’t enter because they are scams.”

So why do people think contests are scams?  Companies in the United States spent over $2 billion last year running legitimate promotions giving away hundreds of millions of dollars away in prizes.

People think contests are scams because when famous business people, like Gene Simmons (@genesimmons), hold a contest and then do not award the prize, it seems like a scam.

Last April, KISS announced a contest. Fans would vote and the North American cities with the most votes would have a KISS concert held in their city. (Prelude to a KISS concert.)  The city of Oshawa ON came out on top and won the contest by having the most votes (14,569).

Today, KISS announced their “First Ever Fan-Routed Tour” concert schedule. Oshawa wasn’t on the list. What?!  It seems that the band has not chosen to honor their own contest. Instead, they selected more “traditional” cities and venues. (Oshawa’s KISS good-bye.)

The rock icon could not be reached for comment but a band spokesman said “a few situations” required placing shows in neighbouring market concert venues.

“This was necessary to make sure that all regional fans get a chance to see KISS with the band’s full stage production,” said spokesman Erik Stein.

In other words, KISS can’t make as much money on Oshawa or Sault Ste. Marie as they can in major markets, such as Toronto.

So, what was the point of holding the contest, when they never had any intention of awarding the prize?

Every marketer can now thank Gene Simmons for making their job, just that much harder.

NOTE: One hour after I blogged about the lack of a concert, KISS announced it would play in Oshawa after all.  I find it interesting they had to receive international negative publicity before they fulfilled their prize commitment.