PSA Contest Official Rules

We are the ones.  How are you taking action? is a contest sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA, CSAP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  These are the Official Rules that govern how the contest will operate. 

Who is eligible to participate in the Contest?

You are eligible to participate in the We are the ones. How are you taking action? Contest (the “Contest”) if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a legal resident of the United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories, and you are between the age of 18 and 25 at the time of entry. Individuals of any age may participate in making the video, but the entrant must be between 18 and 25 at the time of submission. 
  • You are NOT an employee of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”), any agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or Abt Associates Inc.
  • You are NOT an immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling, child) or household member of employees who are ineligible.  

The contest is subject to all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.  Participation in this Contest constitutes the entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s and Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this Contest. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements of the Contest.

Who is sponsoring the Contest?

The Contest is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20857, and Abt Associates Inc., 55 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, MA  02138.  Abt Associates Inc. is the Administrator for the contest.

What are the start and end dates for the Contest?

The Contest begins on February 7, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) and ends on April 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  This will be referred to as the Entry Period throughout the rest of these rules.  Entries must be received within the Entry Period to be eligible.  Any received outside of these dates will be disqualified.

How do I enter the Contest?

  1. Interested participants should create a account by clicking Sign Up in the top right corner, or going to
  2. Upload your video to YouTube. If you do not have a free YouTube account, please create one at
  3. Access the official submission form by clicking on ‘Post a Submission’ at the top of this page.

By uploading your video (Submission), you agree that your Submission is an eligible entry (see below) and conforms to the Content Restrictions defined below.  The Sponsor of this Contest, in its sole discretion, may remove your Submission and disqualify you from the Contest if it believes, in its sole discretion, that your Submission fails to conform to these Official Rules and the Content Restrictions described below.

What constitutes an eligible entry?

To be eligible for judging, an entry must meet the following content and technical requirements:

  • The PSA must be exactly 15 seconds or 30 seconds.
  • The Submission should promote the theme of the Contest:  We are the ones.  How are you taking action?  It should demonstrate how you or your community is taking action in your daily life to prevent substance abuse and support mental health and well-being.
  • The PSA must resonate with its target audience:  young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.  It should inspire others to take action.
  • The Submission must be in QuickTime/MOV, WMV, MPEG, or AVI and must be posted to the Contest Web page ( and uploaded via YouTube.
  • The Submission cannot have been submitted previously in a promotion of any kind or exhibited or displayed publicly through any means.
  • You must have obtained any and all consents, approvals, or licenses for you to submit your entry.

What are the Content Restrictions?

  • The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including, but not limited to, privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement.
  • The Submission must not disparage the Sponsor of this Contest, the Administrator, or any other person or party affiliated with the Contest;
  • The Submission must not contain brand names or trademarks other than those owned by Sponsor, which the entrant has a limited license to incorporate in his/her Submission to this Contest.
  • The Submission must not contain images or artwork not created by the entrant.
  • The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any State where the Submission is created.

Additionally, entrants must represent and warrant that their Submissions:

  • Do not infringe any other person’s or entity’s rights;
  • Are their own original creations;
  • Do not contain the full name, contact information, or any other identifying facts or personal information of the entrant or any other persons involved in the Submission;
  • Do not contain crude, vulgar or offensive pictures, depictions, images, language and/or symbols;
  • Do not contain gratuitous violence, gun or other imagery or gestures of weapons;
  • Do not contain nudity;
  • Do not contain explicit, graphic or excessive sexual activity;
  • Do not contain commercial products (e.g., clothing, toys, food) and/or their trademarks, brands or logos;
  • Do not contain hard liquor, beer, wine or other alcohol use or product images;
  • Do not contain license plates, phone numbers, personal addresses—physical or e-mail or otherwise;
  • Do not contain Web site or Web page links;
  • Do not contain music, lyrics, photos, artwork, and any other such elements for which full releases, including without limitation the ability to use the elements in perpetuity without restriction as to type of media, time, or place, have not been obtained by entrant;
  • Do not contain illegal drug or alcohol and tobacco use or abuse;
  • Have not been submitted previously in a contest of any kind; and
  • Have obtained all necessary rights, permissions, consents, approvals and releases from any persons or commercial entities shown, involved in the creation, displayed or who do or may have any interest or rights in connection with the content submitted.

Submissions generated by script, macro or other automated means are void. Entrant must have permission from all individuals that appear in the Submission (if any) to use their name and likeness in the Submission and to grant the rights set forth herein. If requested, entrant must be able to provide such permissions in a form acceptable to the Sponsor. Uploading a Submission constitutes entrant’s consent to give Sponsor a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, nonexclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display such Submissions in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes. If requested, entrant will sign any documentation that may be required for the Sponsor or its designees to make use of the nonexclusive rights entrant is granting to use the Submission. Released Parties (as defined in below) are not responsible for lost, late, stolen, damaged, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, garbled, delayed or misdirected Submissions, all of which will be void.

In the event of a dispute as to any Submission, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to register will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Each entrant may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder.


How will Submissions be judged?

After the Entry Period, a panel of qualified judges determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion will score each Submission based on the following criteria (“Judging Criteria”):

  • Appropriateness to Theme (40 percent)  
    • The PSA should communicate a clear message about how young adults, 18 to 25 years old, are taking action in their community to prevent substance abuse and support mental health and well-being. 
    • The PSA should inspire and challenge others to take action. 
    • It should reflect the theme:  We are the ones.  How are you taking action?
    • All elements of the PSA should coincide with the PSA’s theme and message.
  • Creativity and Originality (40 percent)
    • The PSA should be original, creative, and unique.
    • It should be memorable.
  • Entertainment Value (20 percent) 
    • The PSA should be entertaining to 18 to 25 year olds and hold their attention.
    • The production should be visually strong, and the audio should be well balanced and easy to hear.

Entrants will receive more consideration for their content, appropriateness to theme, creativity, and persuasiveness than for the technical attributes of their Submissions.

The entrant with the highest-scoring Submission from the Submission pool will be named the potential Contest Grand Prize winner. In the event of a tie, the entrant whose Submission received the highest score for Appropriateness to Theme, as determined by the qualified judges, in their sole discretion, will be deemed the applicable potential winner.

What is the prize?

There will be one Contest Grand Prize.  The Grand Prize is a trip for the winning team (up to four people) to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Annual Meeting to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in June 2011.  The winning PSA will be aired during the meeting.  The prize package includes roundtrip, coach-class air transportation for the winners (up to four people) from a major airport near the winner’s home (determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) to Indianapolis, IN; two nights’ accommodations (June 7 and 8, 2011) at a hotel determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion (double occupancy); ground transportation to and from the airport and hotel; up to four invitations to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Annual Meeting; ground transportation to and from the hotel and the meeting; and government per diem for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) for Indianapolis, IN.

The Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the prize is $3,000. Actual value may vary based on airfare fluctuations and distance between the departure location and destination. The winner will not receive the difference between the actual and approximate retail value. Prizes are nontransferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. The Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize or prize component for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize or prize component should become unavailable for any reason. Winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use.

How will winners be notified?

The potential winner will be notified by e-mail on or around May 6, 2011. The potential PSA Contest Grand Prize winner will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability & Publicity Release (“Affidavit”), which must be received by the Administrator within 7 days of the date the notice or attempted notice is sent, in order to claim his/her prize. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to execute and return the Affidavit within the required time period (if applicable), and does not comply with these Official Rules, the potential winner will forfeit the prize. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, the prize may be awarded to a runner-up, if any, in Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Only three alternate winners may be determined, after which the applicable prize will remain unawarded. Acceptance of any prize shall constitute and signify the winner’s agreement and consent that the Sponsor and its designees may use the winner’s name, city, State, likeness, Submission and/or prize information in connection with the Contest for promotional, advertising or other purposes, worldwide, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law.

What other conditions is the winner agreeing to?

The winning PSA must be provided to the Sponsor and the Administrator as a separate file, so that it can be captioned prior to national distribution.

The winner(s) must travel on the dates determined by the Sponsor or the prize will be forfeited. Travel must be roundtrip. The Sponsor will determine the airline and flight itinerary in its sole discretion. No refund or compensation will be made in the event of the cancellation or delay of any flight. Travel and accommodations are subject to availability. Travel is subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this Contest, and those set forth by the Sponsor’s airline carrier of choice as detailed in the passenger ticket contract. All expenses and incidental travel costs not expressly stated in this package description, including, but not limited to, ground transportation, meals, incidentals, passenger tariffs or duties, airline fees, surcharges, airport fees, service charges or facility charges, personal charges at lodging, security fees, taxes or other expenses are the responsibility solely of the winner.  Travel restrictions, conditions and limitations may apply.

If in the judgment of the Sponsor air travel is not required due to winner’s proximity to the meeting location, ground transportation will be substituted for roundtrip air travel at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. The Sponsor will not replace any lost, mutilated, or stolen tickets, travel vouchers or certificates. The Sponsor is not responsible if the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Annual Meeting is delayed, postponed or cancelled for any reason, in which event that portion of prize is forfeited in its entirety and no substitution will be provided except as in Sponsor’s sole discretion.

If the winner(s) resides outside of the contiguous United States, the Sponsor will provide an alternate prize to the Contest Grand Prize, at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.

By receipt of any prize, the winner(s) agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, the Administrator and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the  “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

Without limiting the generality of these Official Rules, the winner shall irrevocably grant, transfer, convey and assign to the Sponsor the entirety of the rights in and to the Submission and all renewals and extensions of copyright, and the right to secure copyright registrations thereto in perpetuity including, without limitation, the rights to use the Submission for any and all purposes in any and all media whether now known or hereafter developed, on a worldwide basis, in perpetuity. The winner accepts and acknowledges that the Sponsor shall not be obligated to use the Submission and that the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, shall have the right to refrain from using the Submission. The Sponsor shall not incur any liability whatsoever to the extent Sponsor chooses to refrain from any exploitation of its rights hereunder. The winner will indemnify the Sponsor, Released Parties, and any licensee of the Sponsor against all claims, damages, liabilities, and expenses (including reasonable counsel fees and legal expenses) arising out of any breach of these terms.

Whom do I contact if I have questions about the Contest?

If you have questions, please contact

Is there anything else I need to know?

The Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. If terminated, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, determine the winners from among all nonsuspect, eligible Submissions received up to the time of such action using the judging procedure outlined above. The Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the Submission process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated Submissions. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by the entrant, printing, typographical or other errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Submission process or the Contest; (4) printing, typographical, technical, computer, network or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the uploading, the processing or judging of Submissions or votes or the tabulating of votes, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials; (5) late, lost, undeliverable, damaged or stolen mail; or (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize (including any travel/activity related thereto). Released Parties are not responsible for misdirected or undeliverable Submissions or for any technical problems, malfunctions of computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or any combination thereof. Released Parties are not responsible for any unauthorized third party use of any Submission.

Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys' fees; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.