Google has agreed to pay an $8 million fine imposed by the Texas government for false advertising related to its Google Pixel devices. According to a recent report published on Computer Today's website, Google was fined for its advertising campaign based on false testimonials from celebrities and radio hosts.
Fake testimonials used in ads
When the Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL were launched in 2019, many consumers were disappointed with the devices' performance compared to the competition. Yet, this disappointment was not the reason why Google was punished.
Google used celebrities and radio hosts to promote the features of the Pixel devices. However, these individuals had no real access to the devices and the false testimonials issued in the ads were considered misleading by the Texas government.
A lesson learned by Google
Google accepted the fine without further comment. Since then, a new version of the devices, Google Pixel 7a, has been launched using no such false advertising. Instead, the focus has been on features such as artificial intelligence to entice consumers.
Transparency and truthfulness in advertising are crucial to maintaining consumer confidence. Governments act against false advertising to protect users from potential corporate fraud. It will be interesting to see if Google repeats similar strategies in the future. Of course, it is understandable that companies have an incentive to adopt a flattering image in their communication, but using false testimonials remains unacceptable.