Amazon has been found to be selling a range of politically sponsored products on its website despite prohibiting any sponsored content promoting 2020 campaigns or political parties.
Currently Amazon says that “Content related to campaigns, elections, or political issues of public debate; that advocates for or against a politician or a political party; or that personally attacks a political figure” is not allowed.
Despite this products supporting a range of candidates including Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Joe Bidden and Michael Bloomberg can be found with a simple search, with many displaying the tell-tale “sponsored” badges.
In response to CNBC, which first reported the story, Amazon said “We require that all advertisers comply with Amazon Advertising policies. We monitor ads for policy compliance using automated tools and review teams, and take action when those policies are not followed.”
Amazon seller consultancy Prime Guidance’s chief executive Steve Yates told CNBC he continues to see “hundreds” of adverts for political merchandise on Amazon.
Any items with “sponsored” labels are keyword targeted adverts which allow advertisers to promote certain products.
Advertisers bid on particular items and those with the highest bids get priority of position on the page. Advertisers then pay only when their advert has been clicked on after setting the maximum they’re willing to pay.
This comes amid a wider debate about big tech companies role in the upcoming US election, with Twitter announcing it would ban political adverts entirely, but Facebook conversely refusing to remove or even factcheck political adverts.