Amazon Prime 'free trial' advert, banned

4 March 2015

amazoninstant There was a fair bit of hubbub surrounding Amazon's Prime and how it changed from a free trial to a paid-for service.

The Advertising Standards Authority have banned one of Amazon's adverts, which was a direct mailing advert, which offered a "free trial" of the Prime delivery service, saying that it misled consumers on the now infamous subscription fees.

So what's the beef?

Well, the ASA's ruling came about after their were complaints about a card that crowed about a "30-day free trial", which wasn't prominent or clear enough when pointing out that a paid subscription would kick-in automatically if the service wasn't cancelled during the trial period.

In addition to that, the regulator noted that the ad for the instant video element of Prime also didn't point out the cost of a subscription.

The letter itself said: "Dear [name], I'm sending you this letter because I want you to know that you are eligible for a free trial of Amazon Prime ... Start your 30-day free trial today and watch as much as you want ... That's all there is to it ..."

It did say; "Paid subscription starts automatically after free trial unless cancelled," in the small print, and Amazon pointed out that the advert repeatedly said the "free" element was time-limited. The company also pointed out that in all occasions bar one, the word "free" was preceded by "30-day".

The ASA weren't having it and said: "We did not consider that it was sufficient to include the information about the automatic paid subscription in the small print of the ad only and therefore did not consider that that information was sufficiently prominent to make clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of the offer."

"We concluded the ad was likely to mislead."

The Advertising Standards Authority concluded that this particular advert for Amazon Prime was misleading and it mustn't appear again in its current form.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Complaints


  • richard
    thank God for the ASA absolute heros
  • Chris
    Sports directs 50% off on all items is fine though.

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