Google, iHeartMedia gets $9 mn penalty for Pixel ads deception

The lawsuits were filed against Google and iHeartMedia for airing nearly 29,000 deceptive endorsements by radio personalities promoting their use of and experience with Google’s Pixel 4 phone in 2019 and 2020.
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Representative Image

NEW YORK: The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general have settled lawsuits against Google and iHeartMedia to pay $9.4 mn in penalties over featuring deceptive ads promoting the Pixel 4 smartphone. The lawsuits were filed against Google and iHeartMedia for airing nearly 29,000 deceptive endorsements by radio personalities promoting their use of and experience with Google’s Pixel 4 phone in 2019 and 2020. “Google and iHeartMedia paid influencers to promote products they never used, showing a blatant disrespect for truth-in-advertising rules,” said Samuel Levine, Bureau of Consumer Protection Director. As per the FTC, in 2019, Google hired iHeartMedia and 11 other radio networks in ten major markets to have on-air personalities record and broadcast endorsements of the Pixel 4 phone. Google provided iHeartMedia with scripts that included lines about the Pixel 4 phone like, “It’s my favourite phone camera out there.”

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