Amazon's Holiday Ad Glitch Costs Add Up

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


An Amazon ad glitch ruined Black Friday for some advertisers, with reporting problems causing them to either underspend or overspend on important holiday ad campaigns.

Now those advertisers are trying to get Amazon to do the right thing, but some have been more successful than others and some who received credits said the amounts were inaccurate, according to Business Insider.

Amazon is paying back some ad buyers after a holiday glitch cost them big β€” but advertisers are upset they aren’t getting the right amount back
Some Amazon advertisers who ran holiday campaigns with inaccurate data are getting paid back.

Amazon is issuing advertisers makegoods after a holiday glitch caused some marketers to overspend on their campaigns, while others underspent and missed out on holiday sales.

Some of those ad buyers said that they've received credits from their campaigns over the past couple of weeks, after requesting makegoods for the campaigns where they overspent.

Ryan Walker, VP of strategy at e-commerce agency Momentum Commerce, said that 20 of his clients were credited, but the amounts were inaccurate. He said some clients were underpaid while others were overpaid.

"The size varies significantly β€” I don't totally understand how they calculated the credit," he said.

In November, Amazon's holiday glitch misrepresented how much money advertisers had spent on their campaigns, which is important information because it helps make sure advertisers don't blow through money too quickly. Inaccurate data also fooled advertisers into thinking Amazon ads performed better than they actually did, causing them to spend more.

"It definitely eroded some trust in the platform," said Jake Sandor, senior team lead for retail media at digital marketing agency Logical Position.

Sandor said that he had multiple clients overspend on advertising during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. One of them received credits from Amazon that totaled about 10% of the amount overpaid. He declined to name the client but said that the advertiser spent $4,600 on Black Friday ads while Amazon reported that the advertiser spent only $1,300.

Were you caught up in the Amazon holiday ad reporting snafu? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!