When Microsoft teamed up with Machinima to launch a promotion that paid affiliated YouTubers for shilling for the Xbox One console in January 2014, we questioned whether any potential negative publicity and regulatory hassle would be worth it. Turns out, we were right to think the company would face scrutiny from federal regulators, as the Federal Trade Commission says it has cleared Microsoft of wrongdoing and settled charges that Machinima pushed videos of people endorsing the video game without disclosing they had been paid. [More]
Last year, Consumerist reported on why you shouldn’t run out to sign up for a reverse mortgage just because Fred Thompson or other paid spokespeople opine about the benefits in national advertising campaigns. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau echoed our fears that these ads can be misleading by releasing the results of a focus group and issuing an advisory warning consumers that promotions for the costly product often don’t tell the whole story. [More]
For many consumers sitting down for dinner now includes an extra guest: their smartphone. But sometimes the meal can get a bit messy. To keep your grubby fingers off your pristine mobile device, Kentucky Fried Chicken has created the Tray Typer; a bluetooth keyboard that keeps you connected even with the greasiest of fingers. [More]
Although dyeing your hair an ashen color is apparently a fashion thing right now, some consumers will try just about anything to stall the steely tint from cropping up on their heads: including shelling out big bucks for dietary supplements that promise to prevent or reverse the presence of gray hair. Only, according to a new settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, those claims weren’t actually backed by science. [More]
As we’ve mentioned in the past, it’s illegal for a company to misrepresent itself as an agent of the government, if it isn’t in fact affiliated with the government. But that doesn’t stop some companies from using these false affiliations to lure in customers. Such was the case for a California-based mortgage relief company recently taken down by federal regulators.
As dominant as it is and has been for decades, TV advertising is something of a crapshoot. Neilsen ratings are still the gold standard for every network out there, especially since they now finally track time-shifted viewing. But Neilsen still uses their own proprietary tech, and works on a sampling basis. In an age when every set-top box and most of the TVs they’re plugged into are themselves net-connected computers, there’s a more granular and accurate way to measure viewers and to advertise to them — and Google’s taking it. [More]
Reader Christopher is a Comcast customer, but had just signed a new one-year lease an has no plans to move. So the letter from Comcast he received in the mail that said “New home transfer service summary” in red letters caught his attention. Was there an error at Comcast and they thought he was moving? Was the the victim of identity theft? Better open it and find out. [More]
What’s wrong with this Hyundai ad (which appeared on Huffington Post earlier this week)?
This generation of game consoles has adapted the PC tradition of updating games with downloadable patches to smooth out glitches and add new features. With an update to its PlayStation 3 hovercraft racer Wipeout HD, Sony added yet another facet to the experience — pre-race commercials that caused longer-than-necessary load times.
Kevin abandoned Comcast and switched to FiOS. Since then, his jilted cable/Internet company has made it quite clear how badly they want him back. They can’t believe it when they hear that he won’t see them. Denial is tough to watch.
Subway spokesman and occasional thin guy Jared Fogle may soon be out of work thanks to a new FTC rule banning commercial testimonials that warn “results not typical” or “individual results may vary.” Under the new rule, marketers using, say, body builders to advertise weight loss pills are also going to have to show an average lardass whose results might be more typical. You can guess how advertisers are reacting to the change…
In the never-ending quest for free publicity, guerilla marketers have gone through great lengths to try to make a big splash. Many guerilla marketers will often concoct stunts that are risky or illegal to grab the publics’ attention. Some stunts go over better than others while a few completely backfire. As a tribute to these foolhardy souls, WebUrbanist has put together their top 5 mishaps in guerilla marketing. The list, inside…
According to an article in The Daily Texan, law student Emily Prewett, has filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General against the company Darque Tan because of their misleading and irresponsible ads. One of their television commercial begins with a man in white lab coat saying, “Science has discovered that UVB from tanning converts cholesterol into Vitamin D.” Then the narrator says, “Mmm yeah. Vitamin D-licious. Come get yours with a free week of level 1 tanning.” The TV ad and more details, inside…
Last night’s commercials were a tame batch of disappointment. Everybody wanted cutesy animals—squirrels, horses, ponies, pigeons, crickets, dogs, lions, and lizards—to endorse their products. After the jump, the four spots that caught our eye.
Companies are paying $90,000 per second tonight to get their products before our recession-fearing eyes, and they plan to get their money’s worth. Tonight’s advertisers will use an array of tactics designed with one purpose: motivating us to buy their products.
Okay, we’re just going to say it: calling men of a certain age “cheddar hunks” just sounds like they all smell like stinky feet. That’s a table I want to stay far, far away from. Nevertheless, Cabot Cheese of Vermont has launched a new television campaign featuring Guzmán and his Stinky-Feet-Friends sitting around drinking beer and eating cheese. It’s weird. And though we have always liked Cabot Cheese, now it’s going to be hard not to think of middle-aged toes (and werewolves) whenever we go cheddar shopping. Urg.