On Box Ads and F3 Bags and Inserts Guidelines and Acceptance Policies

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Overview
4.0 Prohibited Content

Overview

All advertising content located on our Boxes, Bags, and Inserts must be appropriate for and available without restriction to a general audience. These ads should serve to surprise and delight our customers. Advertising must comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and industry standards in each geographical area where the advertisements may be delivered. The policy contained herein refers to first and third party advertising on Amazon Boxes, Bags (Prime Now, Fresh), and Mailers and includes, but is not limited to, the following formats: sampling, inserts, box takeovers, box tape, bag takeovers, mailer takeovers and takeovers inside any of these formats (for example, the inside of a box is taken over with a color and content related to the promotion).

Due to the real-time, in-person nature of this type of advertising, always consult these policies while creating campaigns and reach out to your Amazon Ads account team with questions.

Amazon Ads' Guidelines and Acceptance Policies apply to all campaigns. All examples are illustrative, and Amazon reserves the right to reject campaigns which do not meet its policies as determined in its sole discretion.

1.0 Amazon Connection and Customer Benefit

All examples in these sections are illustrative and subject to review.

Brands that are advertising on packaging must have a clear Amazon tie-in or an Amazon customer benefit from the advertisement.

1.1 Amazon Connection

An Amazon connection gives customers a clear understanding of why that particular advertisement is associated with Amazon packaging, and maintains the high bar for the placement. Campaign features that meet this requirement include, but are not limited to:

  • Alexa utterance
  • Curated shopping experience that brings together a collection of thematic products available on Amazon (for example, “Movie Night Essentials” containing blankets, popcorn, etc.)
  • Discount or monetary benefit exclusive to Amazon customers
  • Amazon-exclusive entertainment-style content, such as a blooper reel or behind-the-scenes footage
    • This does not include ‘advertorial’-style content; a behind-the-scenes look at a show being promoted would qualify, while an informational video about a product being promoted would not
  • Link (URL destination) to a product or service available on Amazon
    • Autos advertisers that have Amazon stores where customers can browse but not purchase the content would qualify
    • Streaming services with a non-Prime Video Channel FireTV app would not qualify and would need another Amazon connection or customer benefit
    • Landing pages that non-endemic advertisers create for the campaign do not qualify unless they have content on the landing page that meets the criteria for an Amazon connection
  • Sweepstakes or giveaways exclusive to Amazon customers, where the prize is provides a unique value or experience for the winner(s)
  • Partnership with an Amazon program

1.2 Customer Benefit

An Amazon customer benefit ensures that customers experience ‘surprise and delight’ when receiving these campaigns, and should be unique and engaging. Campaign features that meet this requirement include, but are not limited to:

  • Game or craft printed on the packaging
  • Sweepstakes or giveaway exclusive to Amazon customers, where the prize provides a unique value or experience for the winner(s)
  • Amazon-exclusive entertainment-style content, such as a blooper reel or behind-the-scenes footage
    • This does not include ‘advertorial’-style content; a behind-the-scenes look at a show being promoted would qualify, while an informational video about a product being promoted would not
  • Curated shopping experience that brings together a collection of thematic products available on Amazon (for example, “Movie Night Essentials” containing blankets, popcorn, etc.)
  • Discount or monetary benefit exclusive to Amazon customers
  • Artwork on the packaging may be considered a customer benefit if it is unique to the campaign, but must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The following would not qualify as unique artwork:
    • Product or brand logos
    • Key art or characters that have been used in other campaigns for the product/brand
    • Images of the product

2.0 Copy, Design, and Style

2.1 Ad Quality

Customers must be able to read and understand all ads. We prohibit low-quality images and designs (as described below).

The following low-quality images are prohibited:

  • Crowded with too many visual objects in one creative
  • Blurry or distorted
  • Low-resolution
  • Pixelated
  • Smudged
  • Stretched

2.2 Advertiser Branding

We require the presence of the advertiser’s brand to ensure that customers can readily identify the advertiser.

  • The advertiser’s brand name and/or logo must be clear.
  • For ads promoting books, movies, TV shows, video games, music titles, and apps, the name of a band, or the title of a TV show, movie, video game, or app can be treated as the brand name.

2.3 Advertising Copy

We require all ads to be truthful and reliable. Ads must be clear and accurate so that customers receive correct information before engaging with an ad or deciding to purchase a product.

Ad copy is always required when the ad contains special offers, sweepstakes, or promotions.

2.4 Claims and Substantiation

Claims in ads are a material component of the customer’s purchase decision. We require all claims to be accurate and truthful. The table below lists the claim types for which we require substantiation so that customers can verify the authenticity of the information provided to them.

Ads stating that a product is "new," "just released," or similar claims must only be used for a product that has been released within the past 6 months.

When substantiation is required, advertisers must identify the source and date of the evidence. The source can be the advertiser's data or third-party data, depending on the type of claim (see below). The data cannot be more than 18 months old.

The following information must be included either in the disclosure section of the ad text or prominently on the advertising materials.

TypeMust Include
Awards• The name of the award provider, and
• The date of the award.
Survey results• The source of the survey, and
• The date of the survey.
Statistical claims• The source of the study, and
• The date of the study.
Superlative Claims• An independent source that supports the claim, and
• The date of the study.
Comparative claims• An independent source that supports the claim, and
• The date of the study.
Efficacy claims• The source of the study, and
• The date of the study (can be more than 18 months old if the product has not changed since the study was done)

Note: If the product packaging includes the claim or substantiation for a claim, additional evidence is not required.

2.4.1 Pricing and Savings Claims

Pricing and saving claims must:

  • Be the exact same across the campaign.
  • Clarify when the amount varies across multiple promoted products (for example, “Save up to X% on selected products.”)
  • Be used in the correct context. For example, use phrases like “limited-time offer” for time-bound savings claims.
  • Use seasonal claims during the relevant promotional period only. For example, “Back to school offers” or “Valentine’s Day Special Prices” is only acceptable during the periods leading up to the beginning of the school year or Valentine’s Day.
  • Be provided to customers upfront. Customers must not have to complete trivial tasks such as in-banner games, quizzes, or surveys to be eligible for a special offer.>

2.5 Comparative Advertising

We limit direct references to competitors in ads. Ads cannot explicitly call out a competitor, but they may refer to a “leading brand” (or another generic phrasing).

2.6 Customer Reviews and Ratings

Amazon customer reviews and star ratings are not permitted, since both fields are dynamic and OBA and F3 campaigns are not able to update to reflect changes in reviews or ratings.

2.7 Disclosures

Disclosures on packaging are strongly discouraged. When necessary, disclosures must be crafted with care concerning their language and presentation. Disclosures must be:

  • Accurate
  • Legible (both in size and contrast with the background of the ad)
  • Understandable to the average customer (for example, only abbreviations that are common and well understood are permitted)
  • Placed conspicuously on the packaging

2.7.1 Content Requiring a Subscription

If the content you are advertising requires a subscription, this must be made explicit either in the CTA or elsewhere in the ad. Examples: "Watch with Prime," "Watch now with a subscription," "Get the app" followed by "TV provider subscription required."

2.8 Distracting Ads

Design elements must be engaging and complement the customer experience. We prohibit ads featuring distracting elements that disrupt the customer experience.

2.9 Editorial Guidelines

We require that ads are presented in a clean, grammatically correct, and professional manner.

The following are prohibited:

  • Misspellings and grammatical errors such as a wrong verb tense.
    • Slang or wordplay (such as “Cuz” as opposed to “Because”) may be permitted if otherwise compliant with these policies.
  • Random capitalization (such as “QUALITY HeadPhones”), except for common abbreviations or trademarks.
  • Improper punctuation, such as repeated questions or exclamation marks (“!!!”)
  • Special characters such as @@, ###, emojis, or ASCII font, except when part of the advertiser’s logo or included on the product image.
    • Hashtags (#) are permitted if they do not contain inappropriate content (for example, #[profanity]).
  • Ad copy that uses personalized language (such as “you/your”) which may be perceived by a customer as if you are addressing him/her directly and that may cause customer discomfort. For example, ad copy reading “Use our product to solve for your incontinence problems” or “You are overweight. Use our dietary supplement.”
  • Ad copy that implies targeting was used. For example, an ad copy reading “Did you enjoy your recent purchase of [product]? Try our newest model.
  • Ads must not promote the sale of products that are out-of-stock, back-ordered or under recall, or services that are unavailable for purchase at the time that the campaign runs. Ads must be paused when the product or service promoted becomes unavailable.
    • Pre-order: Ads for products that are only available for pre-order are permitted if this is clear in the ad.

2.10 "Free" Offers

We restrict the use of “free” offers to protect customers from deceptive behavior. Ads that offer “free” products or services that are dependent on a purchase (ex. a free case with the purchase of a mobile phone) must indicate that “terms and conditions apply.” The terms and conditions, or a link to terms and conditions, must be clearly and conspicuously presented in the ad close to the offer.

2.11 Intellectual Property (IP) Symbols

  • IP symbols can be accepted when part of the advertiser’s logo or included on the product image, but must not be larger than 20pt Arial superscript.
  • If a 3P's actual packaging is to be displayed on the creative and the packaging includes a TM symbol this can be accepted.
  • TM symbols or ownership language is not permitted on any Amazon materials.

2.12 Pressuring Language

We prohibit pressuring language to avoid creating a sense of urgency which may be disruptive to the customer’s experience.

Ads must engage customers without appearing to shout at or pressure them.

Ads must not contain:

  • Pressuring language that creates a sense of urgency (for example, we'd prohibit “Hurry while supplies last”, but we'd permit “Sale ends Monday” if the sale’s end date was accurate)
  • Repeated exclamation or question marks (for example, “!!!”)
  • Any end punctuation in calls to action (for example, “Shop now!”, or "Find out more?")
  • Any combination of two or more of the following elements: copy in ALL CAPS, punctuation marks, large font sizes (for example, “UNMISSABLE SUMMER DEALS!”)

2.13 QR codes

If an ad uses a QR code, it must not track any customer information such as identity of customer, device identifier, or geographical data.

Ads should communicate clearly to customers where the QR code will drive to (e.g. advertiser’s webpage, social media account, or product detail page).

3.0 Restricted Content and Products

All advertising must be compliant with Amazon’s Ad Policies and follow our general packaging guidelines outlined herein.

Always consider placement, audience, packaging, and the close association with the Amazon brand when creating these ad campaigns.

3.1 Advertising Appealing to Children

Amazon does not allow advertising to be directed at children. If advertising a product or entertainment that could be appealing to children (12 and under), all copy and overall CX needs to be reviewed to ensure it is appropriate for a general audience and is compliant with all children’s privacy regulations in the locale.

3.2 Charities and PSA

Ads for charities, non-profits and PSA are prohibited from advertising as the ads could be perceived as having some type of partnership between the charity or organization and Amazon.

When a clear Amazon integration or partnership with a charity or non-profit has been established, campaigns may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

  • Ad copy and images must not be emotionally charged, depressing, or appear to be pressuring customers to donate
    • The following examples would be prohibited:
      • An ad with an image of a crying child, a tagline that reads “until every last child has a place to call home,” or “help now” is prohibited
      • An ad for a pet charity featuring images of animals in distress is prohibited
  • Ad copy cannot directly address customers to solicit a donation

3.3 Entertainment

Entertainment advertising is allowed with the following restrictions:

  • Entertainment ads must be appropriate for all audiences.
    • Ads for apps, films, or video games that are rated for an adult/mature audience (including films rated R and games rated Mature) are prohibited.
    • Ads for video games that have the Rating Pending icon will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require preapproval.
    • Ads for TV shows that are rated TV-MA must not contain any mature content on the ad or landing page, and require preapproval.
    • Ads for news channels and apps are not permitted.

4.0 Prohibited Content

Content prohibited for all ads
  • Children in adult or dangerous situations. For example, ads must not show children close to, or handling, firearms or other weapons, or in situations which may contravene established child safety best practices (such as children in vehicles without their seatbelts fastened or cycling without helmets), or without adult supervision in places or situations where they cannot safely look after themselves (such as swimming pools, crossing busy roads or around dangerous equipment).
  • Deceptive, false, or misleading.
  • Directly targeted at or that appeal to children due to the messaging, imagery, or targeting.
  • Emotionally draining or exploitative, including content that portrays abused humans or animals.
  • Entertainment when the focus and main themes of the creative or landing page promote or include violence, profanity, alcohol and/or drug use, or sexually suggestive content. See Entertainment guidelines below.
  • Content that promotes practices that can result in the physical or mental harm of customers.
  • That encourages, glamorizes or depicts excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol.
  • Excessive violence or gore. For example, exposed guts or dismemberment.
  • Exploitation of sensitive events such as natural disasters, human-caused disasters, incidents of mass trauma and/or casualties, or the death of public figures.
  • Full nudity, which Amazon defines as fully visible intimate body parts: genitals, female breasts (not including breastfeeding), and buttocks.
  • Obscene, controversial, defamatory, libelous, illegal, or invasive of another's privacy.
  • Political such as campaigns for or against a politician or a political party, or related to an election, or content related to political issues of public debate.
  • Pop-up and pop-unders.
  • Pornography or explicit sexual content.
  • Foul, vulgar, or obscene language or language containing profanity, including obscured profanity (such as s@#t or WTF), graphic or suggestive language or double entendres, or scatological references.
  • Religious advocacy, either advocating or demeaning any religion.
  • Threatening, abusive, or harassing, or content that advocates or discriminates against a protected group (whether based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age or any similar or another category).

5.0 Prohibited Products and Services

As part of our commitment to provide the highest quality customer experience, all content in our Prohibited Products and Services list is prohibited for these campaigns. In addition, we prohibit ads that feature the following products and services:

Prohibited Products and Services
  • Alcohol including:
    • Alcohol detox and recoveries, such as hangover prevention, cures, or detox and recovery supplements, rehydration solutions, or products containing Dihydromyricetin (DHM) (Hovenia Dulcis Extract)
    • Alcohol-branded merchandise
    • Cocktail mixers (with or without alcohol content)
    • Food products containing alcohol, such as liquor chocolates
    • Non-alcoholic wine, beers, and spirits
    • Wine, beers, and spirits
  • Cryptocurrencies and/or NFTs (either as product advertised or as a prize or incentive)
  • Health & Beauty:
    • Acne, eczema, dermatitis treatment
    • Anti-cellulite products
    • Anti-fungal products
    • Excessive body function treatments (such as excessive sweating deodorants)
    • Hair loss products
    • Height increase products
    • Personal hygiene (for example, douches, vaginal moisturizers, intimate deodorizers/feminine hygiene spray, and feminine washes, manscaping products)
    • Sexual wellness products
  • Skin lightening products (including bleaching creams, lighteners, skin brighteners, or fading creams) used to reduce melanin in the skin.
  • Stretch mark treatments
  • Varicose vein treatment
  • Live animals, such as live shellfish or crustaceans, and bait
  • Live plants and flowers
  • Military recruitment
  • News channels and apps
  • OTC Medications and medical devices for:
    • ADHD products
    • Analgesics (General pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil are OK)
    • Antianxiety
    • Anticoagulants
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Antidepressants
    • Antifungals
    • Antiparasitics
    • Anti-snoring devices
    • Anxiolytics
    • Any OTC medications that could be sold behind the pharmacy counter at the discretion of a pharmacist (select cold and allergy medicines, migraine medications, anything containing pseudoephedrine)
    • Ephedra and ephedrine products
    • Epilepsy products
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Gout products
    • Head lice products
    • Herbal supplements and products that mimic the effect of illegal substances
    • HIV/AIDS products
    • Immune suppressants
    • Incontinence products
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Ma Huang supplements
    • Mental health products
    • Metabolic bone disease
    • Movement disorders
    • Oncology products
    • Osteoporosis products
    • Pancreatic enzyme replacement
    • Pelvic floor products
    • Penile ailment creams
    • Posture correction products
    • Sclerosis products
    • Thyroid health products
    • Tinnitus remedies
    • Urine & vomit bags
  • Prescription Drugs/Medication
  • Professional Services (legal, medical, psychological)
  • Supplements
    • Androstanediol, Androstanedione, Androstenedione, Norandrostenediol, Norandrostenedione, Dehydroepiandrosterone
    • Anti-aging/Anti-wrinkle (collagen)
    • Any products marketed as weight loss
    • Appetite suppressant
    • Colon cleansing products
    • Compression/exercise/sauna products for weight loss
    • Diet, weight management meals
    • Diet-specific products
    • Hormone changing products
    • Laxatives
    • Menopause products
    • Products containing ephedrine alkaloids, Salvia Divinorum or Salvinorin A
    • Sensitive conditions (diarrhea, IBS, stress)
    • "Treatments" or "Cures" for disease or illness
  • Veterinary and Pet Products
    • Behavior control sprays and perfumes
    • Bird health supplies
    • Cat digestive remedies
    • Cat health supplies
    • Cat relaxants
    • Cat traps
    • Dog health supplies
    • Dog relaxants
    • Dog digestive remedies
    • Fish health supplies
    • Flea & tick medication
    • Glue traps
    • Horse care fly control
    • Horse care liniments
    • Horse health supplies
    • Horse nutritional supplements & remedies
    • Medication & designated quasi-drugs
    • Refrigerated, frozen or perishable pet food
    • Small animal health supplies
    • Spiked collars

5.1 Restricted Eligibility Products and Services

Advertising for products or services that are not generally available to all audiences is prohibited. This includes services offered by organizations to which membership is restricted to certain affinity groups or defined geographies.