ASA rules Amazon Prime ad "misleading"

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has concluded that Amazon’s one-day delivery advert is "misleading" following 280 complaints from customers who did not receive their parcel in the promised timeframe.

The advertising regulator said the ad “must not appear again in its current form” and Amazon needs to make clear that not all Prime-labelled items are available for next-day delivery.

The ASA investigated a series of adverts promoting next-day delivery on the e-tail giant’s website in December 2017. Amazon customers must sign up for the expedite delivery service at a charge of £79 a year, but many consumers have complained to the authority stating their orders have not arrived in the advertised time.

Amazon argued: “The vast majority of the complaints were received following widespread media coverage of an initial handful of complaints about the issue.”

They said the ads did not promise a particular speed of delivery of a particular product. They believed consumers understood from using the website that individual delivery dates were displayed for each order and that they would have to check each item they were interested in purchasing to find out whether One-Day Delivery was available, and what the delivery date was at that particular time to the address to which they wanted the item delivered.

Amazon said that the speed of delivery of a future order could not form part of consumers’ decision about whether to sign up to Prime. They said a customer’s later disappointment about the speed of a One-Day Delivery order should not render their marketing misleading.

The ASA ruled that customers would be unlikely to research delivery information on individual Prime products before signing up to the yearly membership fee.