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LI sweepstakes company lures Facebook fans

Publishers Clearing House on Facebook

Publishers Clearing House on Facebook Photo Credit: PCH Online

Publishers Clearing House started out in 1953 with a shoe box full of mailing labels, selling magazine subscriptions from the Port Washington home of LuEsther and Harold Mertz.

Times have changed. 

The sweepstakes company (still based in Port Washington) which more and more goes by the acronym PCH, has taken to online games in a big way -- and now wants to entice its Internet gamers to its Facebook page by offering to double their prize money.

The Facebook initiative is another step in the company's movement away from its traditional mass-mailed magazine-subscription sales pitches.

The company calls it PCHSuperfan.

"Our primary goal for the PCHSuperfan program is to drive our diverse audiences onto Facebook where we can communicate with them on a regular basis and offer them what we are known for -- amazing winning opportunities," said Josh Glantz, vice president of PCH Online.

"Though historically known for big, life changing sweepstakes in the mail, we have become a multichannel business offering surprise and delight on the Web, mobile and social channels."

Publishers Clearing House last year agreed to alter its marketing and pay $3.5 million in a legal settlement with the attorneys general of 32 states and the District of Columbia, after complaints that the its sweepstakes mailings were deceptive, targeted the elderly and gave the impression that buying lots of magazine subscriptions improved chances of winning.

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