I have just started using Amasty's Promo Items extension to add free items to the cart when certain products are purchased.

The label I wrote telling the shopper why a free item was added appears above the cart listing when the rule is first applied (I have store views available in 2 languages, and it works fine for both).

However, if the user continues to shop and adds more items, next time they see their cart the label isn't displayed. If they missed it the first time, they sometimes get confused about why stuff is appearing in their cart they didn't place there.

I asked Amasty about it, and they told me it is default Magento behavior for Shopping Cart Price Rules (only to display the label when the rule is first applied).

Is there a way to override this behavior and have the label always display above the cart?

  • 1
    I just ran into this with a client the other day. I wound up writing a module that creates a new quote item attribute, sets it from an observer, and displays it below the product details in the cart and at other places throughout the checkout/order process. It needs quite a bit of polish, though, to be useful for anyone but them because a lot if it is specific to their store. Maybe this will give you some inspiration, though. Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 12:55
  • @Joseph. This is actually a nice idea. You can write it as an answer. And if you provide some pieces of code for it I'm sure it will get upvoted/accepted.
    – Marius
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 10:48
  • Actually the Amasty extension already inserts some text beneath free items it adds to the cart, but it's global for all the items, the text specific to a particular promo only appears above the cart. We have several different promos, and I would like the text at the top of the cart to stick around on cart reloads/re-views if possible. Don't really want anything else under the product.
    – rwired
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


I just ran into this with a client recently. I wound up writing a module that creates a new quote item attribute, sets it from an observer, and displays it below the product details in the cart, on the checkout page, in the new order e-mail, and in the admin order/invoice view.

In order to display the custom quote item where I wanted to show it, I call a helper method from whatever template I need to modify. I might turn this into an actual generic module some day, and when I do I'll figure out a better way to display that attribute rather hacking a bunch of templates. Due to time constraints, I had to use the "quick and dirty" method.

Following is the code I used to create, set, and get the attribute, plus a list of the templates I modified:




class Company_PromoName_Model_Resource_Setup extends Mage_Sales_Model_Resource_Setup


$installer = $this;
$entities = array(
$options = array(
    'type'     => Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_VARCHAR,
    'visible'  => true,
    'required' => false


foreach ($entities as $entity) {
    $installer->addAttribute($entity, 'promo_name', $options);



class Company_PromoName_Model_Observer
     * Adds the promo name to the quote item if it is a promo item when the item
     * is added to the quote
     * @param  Varien_Event_Observer $observer Object containing data passed
     *                                         from the event
     * @see    Mage_Sales_Model_Quote::addItem()
     * @return void
    public function salesQuoteAddItem(Varien_Event_Observer $observer)
        $quoteItem = $observer->getEvent()->getQuoteItem();
        $amPromoRule = $quoteItem->getOptionByCode('ampromo_rule');

        if ($amPromoRule && $amPromoRule->getValue()) {
            $rule = Mage::getModel('salesrule/rule')->load($amPromoRule->getValue());

            if ($rule) {


class Company_PromoName_Helper_Data extends Mage_Core_Helper_Abstract
     * Gets the name of the promotion from a custom item attribute
     * @param  Mage_Core_Model_Abstract $item The promo item
     * @return string
    public function getPromoName(Mage_Core_Model_Abstract $item)
        $promoName = '';

        if ($item->getPromoName()) {
            $promoName = $item->getPromoName();

        return $promoName;

Modified templates:



Screenshot of the promo item in the cart:

Promo Item Name in Cart

Note: The name of the extension and the screenshot have been redacted to protect the privacy of the client.

I hope the code I provided gets you on your way. Enjoy!

  • I've accepted this answer so you get the bounty. Thanks for sharing your code. I was hoping for a simple quick fix keep the existing undisplayed promo message on-screen. Using your attributes method is a bit over-kill for the problem I'm having.
    – rwired
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 12:32
  • Thank you. You can probably use my code as a base to do what you need to do. I imagine you will need to modify the cart template to check if the promo name is returned from the helper and if so show a block above the item table listing the promo items. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 12:55

I write an answer because I cannot add a comment yet.

Using the Joseph suggestion you can add an hidden attribute where you can save the "why I'm here in the cart" for the promo items.

Later you can iterate the item's in the quote and if that hidden attribute is found you can add the promo message again. I'll do that in the cart.phtml or better in the cart controller if you need to use the "addmessage" function, The final choise depends on how the amasty extension manage the messages.

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