Amazon’s search results full of ads that may be ‘deceiving’ consumers

Source: Cat Zakrzewski & Jay Greene, Washington Post (Paid Registration)

More than a quarter of search results on Amazon are paid ads, according to the complaint filed by the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions. But because the company doesn’t clearly label sponsored results, Amazon could be “unlawfully deceiving” customers into clicking on them without knowing, a practice that raises questions about the integrity and quality of Amazon’s search results, the Federal Trade Commission petition alleges.

The company often uses the term “sponsored” to label ads. But in 22 percent of all the ads in the analysis, it buried these labels with a small and light font housed under sections with big, bold titles such as “Highly rated,” and “Today’s deals,” the complaint found.

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