Google Admits to Decep­tive Advertising in Texas

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Tech companies are no strangers to going all out to get ahead of the competition, but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. The latest example of a tech giant engaging in underhanded tactics is Google, but it met its match in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, resulting in the company coughing up $8 million in a settlement claim over its “deceptive advertising.”

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Not as Advertised

Before launching a new product or service, companies often hire spokespeople, representatives or influencers to promote the product far and wide. This usually involves countless social media posts, video clips, or simply publicly talking about it. For the launch of Google’s Pixel 4 mobile phone, the company hired several radio DJs to mention the phone on air. Their testimonials included their thoughts on the device, how it worked and their overall impression. That in itself isn’t out of the ordinary, but Attorney General Paxton had a feeling that something wasn’t adding up.

Google Phone
Image source: Pexels

After doing some digging on the radio marketing campaign, Paxton uncovered that Google refused to provide the DJs with physical devices. That means the DJs plugged the Pixel 4 without ever touching it. According to Paxton, the advertising campaign violated Texas law, and Google continued the campaign regardless, even after being confronted with the findings.

In a statement, Paxton had harsh words for Google, saying he would do whatever it took to protect Texans from false and misleading advertisements from corporations. “They must be held accountable for their misdeeds. I will continue to protect the integrity of our marketplace and ensure that companies who lie to Texas consumers are held to account.”

Not wanting to take the matter to court, Google settled with the State of Texas for $8 million. However, this isn’t the first case alleging the same deceptive behavior from Google. The Federal Trade Commission and six other states earlier accepted a $9 million settlement from Google.

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Image credit: Unsplash

Charlie Fripp
Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp is a technology writer with a strong focus on consumer gadgets, video games, and cyber security. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional journalism and has worked as a journalist for over 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys playing various musical instruments and gardening.

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