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Influencers were paid by Google to promote Pixel phones they never used


Ron Amadeo

Google and iHeartMedia, the largest radio station operators in the US, have been hit with false advertising lawsuits over the ads they ran for the Pixel 4 (overpriced and full of half-working experiments). found out). In 2019 and 2020, according to the FTC and four states, both companies aired “nearly 29,000 deceptive endorsements by radio personalities,” and Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine said Google and iHeartMedia said they paid influencers to promote products they had never used. True rules of advertising. Both companies will have to settle the lawsuit and pay $9.4 million in fines.

Google’s ad directly stated how much on-air personalities liked the Pixel 4, but to quote the FTC’s press release, “on-air personalities, before recording and airing the majority, I wasn’t offered a Pixel 4. I didn’t own the phone and didn’t use it regularly because of the ads.” Thanks, it’s my favorite cell phone camera, especially in low light, I take all my studio-like pictures. It’s not all done thanks to his new voice-activated Google Assistant that can handle multiple tasks at once.

If these ads weren’t first person, all would have been fine. Consumers expect radio advertising to be truthful and transparent about products, not misleading with false recommendations. Today’s settlement ensures that Google and iHeart are held accountable for this deceptive advertising campaign and comply with state and federal law.


A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch:

As part of the settlement, Google and iHeartMedia are prohibited from “misrepresenting an Promoter’s possession or use of, or experience with, certain products.” This agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period. The Committee will then vote on whether to make the proposed Consent Order final.




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