Italian regulators announced an investigation into British American Tobacco and Amazon over what regulators say is potentially misleading advertising for the Glo Hyper X2 heated-tobacco product, the Italian Competition Authority said on Tuesday.
“It is not made clear, or it is inadequately stated” in the advertising that Glo Hyper X2 is a nicotine-based product, and that it is “intended for an adult audience”, the authority said.
It also said it had seen the Hyper X2 was being marketed as “nicotine-free.”
“The omission and/or deceptiveness of this essential information” in advertising could influence consumers’ decisions and expose them, “minors in particular”, to the risk of unknowingly damaging their health, the regulator said.
Amazon Services Europe and Amazon Italia Customer Services were included in the investigation because the tobacco heating device is sold on the online platform.
Reuters found an offer for Glo Hyper X2 on Amazon Prime Italy presenting the product as “the cigarette alternative, a smokeless and odor-free experience, nicotine-free”.
An accompanying image had a “no under 18s” symbol.
A spokesperson for BAT said the company was committed to “responsible marketing”, in addition to the requirements set by local applicable laws.
“We are available to cooperate with the Italian Competition Authority to ensure a swift conclusion of these proceedings”, the spokesperson said.