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Google agrees to pay up millions again for deceptive Pixel 4 ads

The Texas Attorney General claims Google made "statements that were blatantly false."
By

Published onMay 15, 2023

google pixel 4 xl revisited display
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has settled a lawsuit in Texas over deceptive Pixel 4 advertising.
  • The company allegedly hired radio DJs to broadcast detailed testimonials about their personal experiences with the Pixel 4 without ever using the phone.
  • The Texas Attorney General’s office claims that Google made “statements that were blatantly false.”

Google has agreed to pay a sum of $8 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company used deceptive radio ads to market the Pixel 4, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Friday.

Google had hired radio DJs to record and broadcast detailed testimonials about their personal experiences with the phone, but as the lawsuit claimed, the DJs didn’t even use the device before reading out the scripted marketing materials.

In a similar case last year, Google settled for $9 million with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and seven US states for airing nearly 29,000 false ads featuring radio personalities promoting their use of the Pixel 4 in 2019 and 2020.

“If Google is going to advertise in Texas, their statements better be true. In this case, the company made statements that were blatantly false, and our settlement holds Google accountable for lying to Texans for financial gain. Google enjoys significant influence over individual consumers and the marketplace broadly. It is imperative that large companies do not expect or enjoy special treatment under the law,” Paxton’s office noted in a press release.

Meanwhile, Google said in a statement that the company takes compliance with advertising laws seriously. “We are pleased to resolve this issue,” spokesperson Jose Castaneda told Reuters.