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Italy fines BAT, Amazon over heated tobacco ads

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Italy's competition authority on Wednesday fined British American Tobacco's Italian division six million euros ($6.4 million) and Amazon one million euros for misleading advertising of a heated tobacco product.

The AGCM watchdog said the companies advertised BAT's Glo Hyper X2 and Glo Hyper Air devices without making clear "information about the / nicotine consumption connected to the use of these devices and the prohibition of their sale to minors".

It said the were marketed "as simple electronic devices and mere design objects", with adverts focusing on the aesthetics and ignoring the fact they involve consuming tobacco.

"This is seriously misleading conduct which induces the to buy a product that poses and is banned for minors," the authority said.

Both BAT Italia and Amazon.it—the Italian branch of the US giant implicated as the online seller—strongly contested the fines, which came after an investigation launched last year.

"We will appeal," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

"The ICA's claims are incorrect in both fact and law. The description of our products includes reference to age restrictions and health-related risks for the purchase of these products."

It added, "We've made this information even clearer for customers to address the authority's concerns."

BAT said it too intended to appeal.

"We have always provided adequate information on the fact that our products are aimed exclusively at adult smokers," it said in a statement.

It said it had also already implemented changes in response to the authority's concerns.

© 2024 AFP

Citation: Italy fines BAT, Amazon over heated tobacco ads (2024, February 14) retrieved 13 April 2024 from https://techxplore.com/news/2024-02-italy-fines-amazon-tobacco-ads.html
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