Google must pay $9.4 million fine for misleading Pixel 4 advertising

The United States Federal Market Commission (FTC) sued Google and iHeartMedia, one of the most famous mass telecommunication networks in North America. Authorities in seven states in the country accuse companies of releasing more than 29,000 false advertisements for the Pixel 4 between 2019 and 2020.

On Monday (28), the court ordered the companies to pay a fine of US$ 9.4 million — around BRL 50 million — for false advertising, claiming that the content of the advertisements that were aired would persuade consumers to purchase the product without real experiences being reported in advertising. Understand the details below.

According to the indictment, Google would have hired digital influencers to promote its top-of-the-line cell phone at the time using phrases written by the company itself. Quotes like “This is my favorite camera on a smartphone” were said by people who wouldn’t even have used the model on iHeartMedia radio.

Google reportedly paid more than $2.6 million to iHeartRadio and US$ 2 million for eleven smaller radio stations in the United States to publicize the device. Hired influencers always used similar phrases to “recommend” the Google Pixel 4, such as:

The only thing I like more than taking the perfect picture is taking the perfect picture at night. With the Google Pixel 4, anything is possible. This is my favorite camera on a smartphone, especially in low light. […]🇧🇷 It’s also great for helping me get things done, thanks to the voice-activated Google Assistant that can handle multiple tasks at once.

Among the phrases above, the influencers cited occasions from their own daily lives to give more truth to the story. One of the advertisers said that the cell phone is ideal for taking pictures with friends in different scenarios; another said that, as a musician, the smartphone was ideal for recording his concerts during the night.

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“It’s common sense that people place more trust in first-hand experience,” said Maura Healey, Massachusetts attorney general. “Consumers expect radio ads to be truthful and transparent about products, not misleading with false recommendations,” she concluded in her indictment.

Technical specifications

  • 5.7-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution
  • Display with curved edges and protected with Gorilla Glass 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Platform
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 128 GB of internal storage
  • 8 MP front camera
  • Two rear cameras:
    • Main lens with 12.2 MP sensor
    • Ultrawide lens with 16 MP sensor

  • 4G LTE, Bluetooth and USB-C connection
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm
  • Weight: 162 grams

See more!

  • The Google Pixel 7 Pro is not yet available in Brazilian stores. To be notified when it arrives.
  • The Google Pixel 7 is not yet available in Brazilian stores. To be notified when it arrives.
  • The Google Pixel 4 is not yet available in Brazilian stores. To be notified when it arrives.

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