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Italy Fines British American Tobacco and Amazon for Misleading Advertising

 |  February 14, 2024

Italy’s antitrust agency AGCM has imposed hefty fines on British American Tobacco (BAT) and Amazon for engaging in misleading advertising practices related to heated tobacco products. The fines, totaling 7 million euros ($7.5 million), were announced on Wednesday following an investigation into the marketing strategies of the two companies.

According to AGCM, BAT has been fined 6 million euros, while Amazon faces a fine of 1 million euros. The penalties were attributed to their failure to adequately inform consumers about the nicotine content and associated health risks of the Glo Hyper X2 and Glo Hyper Air products.

In a statement released by AGCM, it was revealed that both BAT and Amazon were found guilty of misleading consumers by not providing accurate information regarding the nicotine levels in these heated tobacco products. The agency emphasized the importance of transparent communication regarding such products, particularly in relation to their potential health impacts.

Heated tobacco products, which heat tobacco rather than burning it, have gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional smoking. However, concerns have been raised regarding their safety and potential health risks, particularly concerning nicotine addiction.

The AGCM’s decision to fine BAT and Amazon underscores the regulatory scrutiny faced by companies operating in the tobacco industry. It also serves as a reminder of the responsibilities companies have in ensuring that their advertising practices comply with consumer protection laws.

Both BAT and Amazon have yet to respond publicly to the fines imposed by AGCM. However, it is expected that they will review the decision and consider their options for appeal.

Source: XM