Amazon Prime promotion banned by ASA

Amazon’s promotion offering users a month of free Prime has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being “likely to mislead.”

The ASA upheld seven complaints about a promotion offering a “30-day free trial of Amazon Prime!” during the checkout process.

Amazon presented shoppers with a gold box with the option to “Order Now With Prime”, which was inside a larger grey box with the option to “Continue with Free One-Day Delivery. Pay Later”.

The advertising watchdog ruled that the average customers would assume these were the only two options, and that the second box would lead customers to believe they were continuing without signing up to Prime.

READ MORE: Amazon to make 2-hour grocery delivery free for all Prime subscribers

“We considered that the average consumer was likely to view the text within the grey and gold boxes as the only two options available, with the ‘option’ in the grey box allowing them to continue without signing up to Prime, when that was not the case,” it said.

A third option “Continue and don’t gain Amazon Prime benefits” was written in faint blue writing to the left, but customers complained it was confusing and hard to see.

“Because we considered that the average consumer was likely to view the text within the grey and gold boxes as the only two options available, with the ‘option’ in the grey box allowing them to continue without signing up to Prime, when that was not the case, we concluded that the presentation of the options was likely to mislead,” it added.

In response Amazon argued that customers were clear about what they were doing, but the ASA dismissed data provided by the retailer and banned the advert.

An Amazon spokesman said: “The evidence from millions of transactions demonstrates that customers have had positive experiences.

“The ASA has instead based its ruling on a handful of complaints and a subjective opinion of the page. We will continue our discussions with the ASA.”

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