Amazon drops French Black Friday ad campaign as lockdown starts
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[October 31, 2020] 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
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
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.
A discount shopping day that takes place worldwide, Black Friday usually
coincides with the Friday of the U.S. Thanksgiving Weekend.
Amazon's French campaign was due to run between Oct. 26 and Nov. 19.
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Employees work at the Amazon fulfilment center in Boves near Amiens,
France, September 29, 2020. Picture taken September 29, 2020.
The online retailer had to shut some of its warehouses in France during the
country's first lockdown this spring, after clashing with unions over sanitary
Pannier-Runacher, asked if Amazon would be allowed to maintain a campaign for
Black Friday sales this year, said it was not yet clear. "It's a matter we will
have to work on with all retailers," she said.
French restaurants, cafes and shops not selling essential goods will have to
close for at least the next two weeks.
The restrictions sparked an outcry across the country over bookstores in
particular, with opposition politicians and literary figures calling for them to
Fnac Darty <FNAC.PA>, which sells books as well as electronic goods, said on
Friday it would shut down its culture section in coming weeks out of solidarity,
after chain stores came under fire as some will remain open.
(Reporting by Sarah White; editing by John Stonestreet)
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