ASA part-reverses decision over Amazon's 'misleading' advertising

ASA part-reverses decision over Amazon's 'misleading' advertising

A ruling against Amazon claiming its advertising on misleads customers about delivery charges has been reversed. 

The advertising watchdog ASA has announced that it has reversed one of two rulings that had been passed against Amazon on 3rd August in relation to misleading advertising about delivery charges. A customer had complained that Amazon’s delivery information was misleading after they tried to order an AmazonBasics electrical product for £18.49 thinking it was “eligible for free UK delivery”, while the product page itself said the customer would only get “free delivery in the UK on orders over £20”.

Although the ASA initially concluded over the summer that the omission of the delivery charge from the product's search listing and product page was indeed misleading, it has now backpedalled on this particular point giving the reason that the delivery options available to customers were "complex and dependent on a range of factors". It said this meant the charges "could not reasonably be calculated in advance" after all and "therefore it was not required the ads state the applicable delivery charges".

It concluded: "we considered consumers would understand from both the search listing and product page that a delivery charge applied to the product, unless their order met certain criteria. Because the ads made clear that a delivery charge would be payable (unless certain criteria were met) we concluded the ads were not misleading and did not breach the Code."

However, with regard to the second part of the complaint that Amazon had not made it sufficiently clear which items would be eligible for free delivery, it upheld its original decision, concluding the ads "did not make sufficiently clear which items were eligible for free delivery, and under what terms" and dubbing them still "therefore misleading".

Amazon declined to comment.