They went from radio to radio telling how well they had enjoyed the Pixel 4, too bad Google had never provided them with one.
Google will face charges of misleading advertising . The US Federal Trade Commission investigates a marketing campaign organized several years ago by Google to promote its Pixel smartphones. In essence, the accusation is as follows: influencers and testimonials have been sent on the radio to sing the praises of Google’s smartphones, without actually ever having tried them.
Influencers would be educated to provide a seemingly genuine story. In other words, they had to pretend to be the owners of the new Google smartphone – the Pixel 4 and 4 XL – and talk about its strengths. “I also find it very useful because the new Google Assistant helps me do things”, reads for example one of the offending sentences.
This gimmick would have been proposed on a large scale in collaboration with iHeartMedia, a US company that controls over 800 radio stations. The FTC has identified over 29,000 episodes which, substantially, would all be attributable to the same script and, therefore, to the accusation of not having declared the advertising collaboration between Google and influencers . The authority has demanded that Google be ordered to pay a fine of $9.4 million.
Google and iHeartMedia paid influencers to advertise products they’ve never used. It is a clear violation of the transparency rules required of all advertising campaigns
reads a note published by the FTC.