UK advertising regulator slams Amazon for 'misleading' price comparisons

Global online retail major Amazon suffered a setback on Wednesday when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the UK slammed it for its ‘misleading’ price comparisons on its website.

Referring to the four ads that it probed, the ASA reprimanded Amazon: “The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Amazon to ensure that future references to recommended retail prices (RRPs) reflected the price at which the products concerned were generally sold, and to ensure that they held adequate evidence to substantiate their savings claims.”
The ASA also banned all the four advertisements, which were telecast last July, for ‘misleading’ customers over savings. The adverts claimed customers would save up to £300 with its RRPs.
The American online retail giant admitted that one advert was in fact an error, but the others were in line with similar listings on other sites. “Our customers come to Amazon and expect to find low prices and incredible deals, and we work hard to provide both all year long,” said a company spokesperson.
Amazon admitted there was an error in calculating the savings for a TV, but the RRPs in the other three ads were similar to the prices displayed on other retail sites.
The advertising regulator, however, maintained that all four adverts were misleading and unsubstantiated. It said consumers would believe that RRP meant that the product was sold at the price mentioned all over the market.
However, when ASA checked the prices and found there were irregularities.
“We told Amazon to ensure that future references to RRPs reflected the price at which the products concerned were generally sold, and to ensure that they held adequate evidence to substantiate their savings claims,” stated the ASA.