Amazon drops French Black Friday ad campaign as lockdown starts

PARIS (Reuters) – Amazon is withdrawing advertising for pre-Black Friday discounts in France, after the government said the campaign was unfair to small shops at time when a coronavirus lockdown has forced them to close.

France entered its second national lockdown on Friday to try to contain a surge in infections. The curbs imposed under it include the closure of non-essential stores.

A spokeswoman for Amazon AMZN.O said the group had agreed to halt its radio advertising campaign around pre-Black Friday sales.

A page with discounted items under the header “Black Friday ahead of time” was live on its French website on Saturday, however.

Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runchaer said she had asked Amazon to suspend the campaign. It was “not at all appropriate at a time when 200,000 businesses will have to shut their doors,” she told Europe 1 radio on Saturday.

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