Oh Amazon, what am I going to do with you?
In reality, it really isn’t Amazon that I have to contend with, but the luck of the draw. Which rep receives and reviews my ads is what really matters. Specifically, I’m encountering difficulties with my ads for The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale being approved.
Amazon seems to deny at least half of the ads I send to them for approval, so much so that I just gave up a few months ago, but now I’m thinking it is time to change that attitude.
Amazon does serve as the morality police. They have many rules, which you can find listed here, that state what you can and cannot have in an ad on their website.
And that’s fine, it’s their website and so, consequently, it is their rules. But the rules are inconsistent. Last week, I submitted this ad:
A unique look at how the War on Drugs is a war on people. Learn about the history of marijuana prohibition, private prisons, drug courts and more!
It was approved and is currently being displayed on Amazon to a targeted audience.
But with some ads, while I’ve gotten plenty of clicks, I haven’t seen the viewers turn into buyers, so I wrote a different ad:
The War on Drugs is a war on people driven by a lust for money and control. Learn how marijuana became illegal and what drug courts are really like.
And this one was rejected. I wrote them an email pointing out that the book does not endorse illegal activity, it does not explain how to grow marijuana, and is not a treatise on how to be a stoner. I received an email stating that a manager would review it and I would hear back by Tuesday.
And here is their response:
This is a follow up email with regards ads.
I’ve checked with the technical team and they have informed me that they have reviewed your ad they determined that your ad, or the book being advertised, is related to illicit drugs. We do not allow ads related to books that are centrally themed around an illicit drug irrespective of the content of the book.
Also, the cover of your book contains the image of a marijuana plant which is not appropriate for all audiences. As per our policies, we don’t advertise books that have images of illicit drugs on its cover.
Le sigh. Sooo annoying! And I wasn’t about to reply and point out that there already was an ad out there for this very book that had been approved.
I’m not giving up. I submitted this ad this morning:
The war on drugs is still raging. Learn how marijuana prohibition began and what drug courts are really like in a unique, personal account.
I see the writing on the wall. It is a hit or miss proposition and I’ll be taking the low, quiet road from here. I could fight it, point out their inconsistencies (and potentially get some good, enlightened soul in trouble), and try to trump them intellectually.
However, my experiences in the corporate world have taught me how pointless and impossible that is. Instead, I’ll just test out a different theory. I’ll submit an ad and make note of when I sent it. If it is approved, I’ll repeat my submissions in that particular time frame and hope I keep getting the ads reviewed by the more enlightened folks.
I’ll keep it quiet and operate under the radar…some day our country will come to realize that marijuana isn’t the problem and things will change. And after all, that is what my book is about.
This is a joke, folks. A JOKE!