Best Fast Dropshipping Service & Business India

<p>Representative  image</p>
Representative image

ROME: Italy’s AGCM competition watchdog has fined British American Tobacco (BAT) and Amazon a combined 7 million euros ($7.5 million) over misleading advertising for heated tobacco products.

BAT was fined 6 million euros and Amazon 1 million euros for failing to provide sufficient information to consumers about the nicotine content and corresponding health risks from using the Glo Hyper X2 and Glo Hyper Air products, AGCM’s statement said.

Street and online advertising presented the products as “simple electronic devices” and “design objects”, the regulator said.

“This is seriously misleading conduct that leads consumers to purchase a product that poses health risks and is prohibited for minors,” it said.

Amazon strongly disagrees with the regulator’s decision and plans to appeal against the fine, a company spokesperson said.

“The description of our products includes references to age restrictions and health-related risks,” the spokesperson said.

“We have worked closely with the AGCM throughout this case and we’ve made this information even clearer for customers to address the authority’s concerns.”

BAT’s Italian business issued a statement saying it would appeal against the AGCM ruling.

“We have always provided adequate information that our products are only intended for adult smokers and that we adopt the highest standards of conduct to prevent underage use of any nicotine product,” it said.

“We have cooperated with the Italian authorities and promptly adopted all required changes to our marketing practices.”

BAT’s Glo device, which is sold on Amazon’s online platform, does not itself contain nicotine but is used with tobacco sticks that do include nicotine.

The Italian antitrust regulator launched its investigation in April 2023, accusing the two companies of not clearly stating that the heaters were for adults only and noting that they were marketed as “nicotine-free”.

At the time, Reuters found an Amazon offer for Glo Hyper X2 presenting the product as “the cigarette alternative, a smokeless and odour-free experience, nicotine-free”.

An accompanying image had a “no under-18s” symbol.

The same product is now sold with the following warning: “Not for sale to minors. This product, when used with related tobacco or nicotine sticks, cartridges or refills is not risk-free and provides nicotine.” ($1 = 0.9339 euros)

  • Published On Feb 15, 2024 at 08:30 AM IST

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