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Google and iHeartMedia pay Illinois $1.5 million for allegedly airing misleading smartphone ads

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Google and iHeartMedia have agreed to pay more than $9.4 million in total to seven states, including Illinois, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul said Monday.

According to Raoul’s office, in 2019 Google struck a deal with iHeartMedia personalities to record ads recommending Google Pixel 4 smartphones. The radio personality performed well, claiming to have used a smartphone, Raul’s office said in a news release. However, the personality neither owned nor operated a Pixel 4 prior to the approval, the release said.

“Google and iHeartMedia misled customers with fabricated ads. I pledge to seek enforcement against companies and others who violate the law to take advantage of Illinois consumers. ”

Advertisements aired on the iHeart radio station and Internet streaming service and aired in the Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and San Francisco markets.

Under the settlement agreement, Google and iHeart Media will pay the state of Illinois at least $1.5 million and a total of $9.4 million to the litigating states. In addition, the companies agree to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Guide to the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, to not misrepresent the endorser’s experience, and to provide state-related compliance reports, subject to terms. I agree.

According to the Illinois Attorney General, Google has three years and iHeart Media has 10 years to file reports.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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