Amazon issues credits for holiday ad errors

  • Amazon is issuing credits to advertisers who ran holiday campaigns with inaccurate data.
  • One advertiser earned credits after working directly with Amazon account managers.
  • But some ad buyers were underpaid and others were overpaid, and others received no credit at all.

Amazon is issuing promotional items to advertisers after a holiday glitch caused some marketers to overspend on their campaigns, while others underspent and miss out on Christmas sales.

Some of those ad buyers said they’ve received credits from their campaigns in the past couple of weeks, after asking to create items for the campaigns where they overspent.

Ryan Walker, VP of strategy at e-commerce agency Momentum Commerce, said 20 of his customers were credited, but the amounts were inaccurate. He said some clients were underpaid while others were overpaid.

“The size varies significantly – I don’t quite understand how they calculated the credit,” he said.

In November, Amazon’s holiday bug misrepresented how much money advertisers had spent on their campaigns, which is important information because it helps ensure advertisers don’t blow through money too quickly. Inaccurate data also tricked advertisers into thinking Amazon ads were performing better than they actually did, causing them to spend more.

“It’s definitely eroded some confidence in the platform,” said Jake Sandor, senior team leader for retail media at digital marketing agency Logical Position.

Sandor said he had more customers overspend on advertising during the Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday weekend. One of them received credits from Amazon that were about 10% of the overpaid amount. He declined to name the client, but said the advertiser spent $4,600 on Black Friday ads while Amazon reported the advertiser spent only $1,300.

Sandor said the client was able to receive credit by working directly with an Amazon representative who monitors the account by submitting a summary of what happened and reports showing inaccurate advertising numbers. But when Sandor’s team submitted tickets on behalf of other customers, they didn’t get credit. Sandor suspects that the client who received credits obtained them by having a direct relationship with an Amazon representative.

Sandor described Amazon as not being proactive in handing out credits. Amazon doesn’t typically offer brands, so advertisers have to request them, he said.

“It was a surprise for us to get this win,” he said.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the record, but previously told Insider that the company was working to resolve the reporting issues with advertisers.

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