TECH: Google Pixel 4 ads are being sued by the FTC and seven states for being ‘misleading’

You’re not the only one who won­ders if that social media star is real­ly using the much-talked-about new mod­el. The US Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion and sev­en states have sued Google and iHeart­Media for run­ning “mis­lead­ing” Pix­el 4 ads.

The pro­mo­tion, which aired from 2019 to 2020, fea­tured influ­encers rav­ing about fea­tures in phones they prob­a­bly did­n’t own, and that Google did­n’t sup­ply the Pix­el before most of the ads were includ­ed. per­son says.

iHeart­Media and 11 oth­er radio sta­tions aired Pix­el 4 ads in 10 major mar­kets. It seems that it was broad­cast about 29,000 times. It’s unclear how many peo­ple heard the ad.

The FTC intends to pro­hib­it Google and iHeart­Media from mak­ing mis­lead­ing claims of own­er­ship in the future. We also require both com­pa­nies to demon­strate com­pli­ance through reporting.

States such as Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia, Geor­gia, Illi­nois, Mass­a­chu­setts, New York and Texas have also issued rul­ings requir­ing com­pa­nies to pay fines of $9.4 million.

Google spokesper­son Jose Cas­tane­da said in a state­ment to Engad­get that the com­pa­ny was “will­ing” to address the sit­u­a­tion and that it was tak­ing adver­tis­ing laws “seri­ous­ly.”

He added that Google does­n’t con­sid­er this a law­suit (specif­i­cal­ly, the FTC’s pro­posed order and state rul­ing), and that the tech giant has just set­tled with six of the sev­en states.

Spoofed phone ads are noth­ing new. Both Huawei and Sam­sung have been found to have divert­ed gen­uine SLR pho­tos as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their mobile phone cameras.

Also, I have a his­to­ry of sell­ing mobile phones that I don’t know if they are used by celebrities.

For exam­ple, Gal Gadot had to defend her­self against accu­sa­tions of pro­mot­ing Huawei phones while post­ing on Twit­ter from her iPhone (which was due to her publicist).

But this time, the alle­ga­tions are more seri­ous. The FTC and par­tic­i­pat­ing states allege that Google sought to use false testimony.

Accord­ing to Samuel Levine, the FTC’s Direc­tor of Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion, it had a “bla­tant dis­re­gard” for rules about truth in advertising.

While the pun­ish­ment is minor com­pared to the antitrust penal­ties Google has received in the past, it could under­mine trust in its cam­paigns for new Pix­els and oth­er hardware.

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