In recent years the open contest has evolved as a preferred method of sales promotion. In West Germany alone, advertisers have spent more than 100 million DM in the last three years for conducting contests. The range of problems within the area of sales promotion, which a contest is able to solve, is wide. Among other things, sponsors of contests try to broaden their distribution-basis, overcome seasonal lows, introduce new products or models, win new customers, force the sale of slow-moving products, call attention to especially good offers, acquire adresses for direct-advertising, discover special arguments for - or characteristics of - their products, or to make the consumers aware of the brand-name, package or slogan. The study about which we report, does not deal with the possibilities of applying the contest in the field of sales promotion. Rather, it deals only with the attitudes and behavioural patterns of the population towards contests as a whole and with the influence which various components of a contest have on the willingness of the different social groups to participate in them. The research proceeded in different phases. A statistical analysis based on secondary data was followed by a poll of the experts' opinion about which group of the population prefers to participate in open contests. These results were compared with the actual behaviour of the population. In the third stage of the study the ideas and expectations of contestants were analysed. In this report, we limit ourselves to a brief description of the most important findings.