Paid Entry to Photo Competitions
It would seem that multinational companies have de-evolved from hosting photo competitions that featured their products to using photo competitions as revenue generating enterprises with charging competitors an entry fee. Originally, they used photo competitions as the cheapest and easiest method to find photos for their advertising campaigns. All of the work normally associated with sourcing suitable photos is done for them under the guise of a photo competition. The top prize is minuscule compared to what their expected cash outlay would have been to source comparable photos through professional photographers. I will admit to "competing" in several of these open competitions before realizing the ulterior motive behind them. Having your work judged superior to a fellow photographer's can be inebriating when you were a photo-hobbyist and wondered if you were good enough to turn pro. This practise takes business away from professional photographers, so if you are a pro or have ambitions of becoming a professional photographer than you must speak out against those that promote these types of competitions.
Of course, it is difficult to see the ulterior motive, when you have no idea of the commercial value of your picture.
For an amateur, it is relatively difficult to find this out.
Also, in photo competitions, one shouldn't forget that this is a very good advertisement itself, both for the winner and for the sponsor.