Amazon pricing descriptions blasted in ASA ruling

The Advertising Standards Authority has reprimanded Amazon for a series of items listed in a way that gave a misleading impression of the saving that could be made, compared to the full or recommended retail price.

The watchdog received four complaints about four separate claims last July, and in each case ruled that the claim breached the CAP Code rules on misleading advertising and substantiation.

Three of the claims – for an LG 4K TV, a MSI laptop and a Philips electric toothbrush – concerned a comparison between a "deal price" and the item’s recommended retail price.

For the TV, Amazon admitted that it had made an error and should not have displayed the RRP. For the other two, it provided evidence of the price at which those items had been sold by other sellers – but in each case, the ASA ruled that the evidence was not sufficient.

The fourth item was a ViewSonic gaming monitor, which was included in a deal on Amazon’s Prime Day, in which it was offered at a lower price to Prime members.

But while the higher price stated for the monitor was the actual price charged to non-Prime members on that day, the ASA said Amazon’s own evidence showed the item had been sold at a lower price for the majority of the previous month.

The watchdog 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.

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