Amazon in Compromise Over German Court Case

Share this content:
WIESBADEN, Germany -,'s German subsidiary, has reached a compromise with the German association of mail order book sellers over charges of false banner advertising.

The booksellers contended that's banners took surfers to the amazon site even when they punched in a category -- e.g., typewriters -- and not books about the subject.

Even worse, the sellers charged, if did not have any books about typewriters, the surfer was led to the site anyway and told he could order books on a similar theme on the site.

They took their complaint to the county court in Wiesbaden which issued a temporary injunction barring from advertising "misleading" data on Internet search engines.

"We've reached an agreement with the plaintiff," spokesman Andre Schirmer said, "that changes the conceptual basis of our advertising. We now specify that the surfer is looking for a book about typewriters, not the subject itself.

"Surfers will no longer look for subject matter in our banners but specifically for books. Starting Feb. 9, when the compromise went into effect, our banners ask, 'Are you looking for books about, say, typewriters' rather than about the concept itself."

Schirmer said that the case "was no big deal" but that the mail order association worried about the concept being turned into advertising terminology, and that the court had agreed. "Our banners will now specify that they are about books."

Schirmer insisted that the case was too narrow to indicate a trend in German jurisprudence, and that it had nothing to do with Lands' End's recent legal problems on the German market.

The Wisconsin-based apparel cataloger lost a landmark case last year when Germany's highest court refused to hear an appeal against an appellate court ruling banning advertisement of Lands' End's "unconditional" guarantee.

The cataloger takes back any item no matter when it was sold, no questions asked. A German anti-competition group sued on the basis of a 1932 law that such guarantees were "extra" products given away as premiums, and that such premiums were illegal.

"In this case nobody said we did anything unlawful," Schirmer explained. "The only charge was that the customer might not be in a position to realize just what he was doing, that is asking amazon to search for a concept, not a book. That's Yahoo and other search engines' job."

But Schirmer also noted that the association of mail order book sellers was made up of many small single enterprises who cannot achieve the reach and breadth of customer involvement that can.
Loading links....

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here