Apple has put restrictions over online giveaways of their products and has enforced its Guidelines for Third Party Promotions on companies using iPhones and iPads as gifts, tagging it “free”.

The guidelines for promotion suggest that no third party can associate the word “free” with Apple products, unless it is clear to the consumer that Apple is not gifting it in return for any transactions.

Booming demand for iPads and iPhones have made many companies to capitalize on Apple’s brand cachet by running promotions giving free devices.

Recently the WTVD-TV, the local ABC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., has organized a sweepstakes contest where 11 lucky winners were gifted Apple iPad.

Cult of Mac's Nicole Martinelli counted more than three dozen active iPad sweepstakes and giveaways, including contests run by Mashable, MacMall and Mahalo.

Apple has entirely forbidden prizes of iPad, iPhone and iPhone Gift Cards, while iPod Touches can be used as prizes provided a minimum of 250 units are purchased.

The guidelines also strictly govern how Apple products are depicted in promotional materials. The iPad maker requires that only the most current Apple products be featured and product photos cannot be altered, partially displayed, or cluttered with props, models or marketing messages.

The standard document of guidelines has been around since January, but Apple had not strictly implemented it until recently.