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Sarah Braun

Doctors Call On Big Pharma To Advertise Retail Prices Of Prescription Drugs

Think of the last prescription you had filled: You probably know how much you had to pay the pharmacy, but do you have any idea of the full sticker price for that medication? With many drug prices soaring, the nation’s largest physicians organization has called on the pharmaceuticals industry to be more transparent about the sometimes huge price tags on their products. [More]

Comcast To Discontinue Some Ads That Take Aim At DirecTV

Comcast To Discontinue Some Ads That Take Aim At DirecTV

Seven months after Comcast was warned by an ad watchdog to check itself before wrecking itself when it came to badmouthing DirectTV, the same organization has recommended that the cable behemoth discontinue ads that allegedly exaggerate its rival’s problem with satellite signal interruptions. [More]

Marketer Of Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Graying Hair Ordered To Refund $391K

Marketer Of Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Graying Hair Ordered To Refund $391K

Sporting an ashen ‘do can make a person look distinguished — or fashion forward — but there will always be people who want to stave off the gray as long as possible. But why shell out big bucks for dye jobs, when dietary supplements promise to actually reverse the presence of gray hair? Maybe because there’s no proof that those pills will actually do anything to get rid of the grays? [More]

Ad Watchdog Recommends DirecTV Cease 4K Claims

Ad Watchdog Recommends DirecTV Cease 4K Claims

AT&T may already be killing off the DirecTV name, but that doesn’t mean its recently acquired pay-TV brand doesn’t have to answer for its possibly misleading advertisements. As such, a national ad review board has directed the company – at the behest of Charter Communications – to discontinue claims made in its “Hannah and Her Horse” campaign that suggests all of its programming is available via 4K technology.  [More]

Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

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]

No Surprise Here: CFPB Finds Reverse Mortgage Ads Create False Impressions

No Surprise Here: CFPB Finds Reverse Mortgage Ads Create False Impressions

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]

KFC restaurants in Germany rolled out a limited-time tray liner that moonlights as a keyboard for your smartphone.

KFC Creates Tray Keyboard, So Your Greasy Fingers Don’t Smudge The Smartphone

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]

The FTC announced settlements with the marketers of products that claim to reverse or prevent the presence of gray hair.

Feds Take Issue With Pills Claiming To “Prevent & Reverse” Greying Hair

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]

Great Beyond

CFPB Takes Action Against Mortgage Relief Company Deceptively Using VA & FHA Logos On Ads

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.

[More]

Google To Start Doing Its Mega-Personalized Ad-Serving Thing On TV, Too

Google To Start Doing Its Mega-Personalized Ad-Serving Thing On TV, Too

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]

Watch Out, Dish Network: Comcast Can Send Misleading Mailers, Too

Watch Out, Dish Network: Comcast Can Send Misleading Mailers, Too

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]

10 Movie Theater Secrets

10 Movie Theater Secrets

Yahoo Finance put together a list of 10 secrets about movie theaters, dropping some interesting factoids, including this justification for why concession snacks are so expensive: [More]

Is It Me or Do All Hyundais Look Alike?

Is It Me or Do All Hyundais Look Alike?

What’s wrong with this Hyundai ad (which appeared on Huffington Post earlier this week)?

Updated: PS3 Racing Game Update No Longer Doubles Load Times To Show Ads

Updated: PS3 Racing Game Update No Longer Doubles Load Times To Show Ads

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.

CARD Act Includes Limits On Not-So-Free Credit Report Ads

CARD Act Includes Limits On Not-So-Free Credit Report Ads

A less-reported provision of the CARD Act, the credit card reform bill signed by President Obama on Friday, puts limits on ads promoting that old Consumerist nemesis, “free” credit reports.

Comcast Wants You Back, Leaves Comcastic Love Notes

Comcast Wants You Back, Leaves Comcastic Love Notes

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.

FTC To Require Advertisers Using Testimonials To Show Typical Results

FTC To Require Advertisers Using Testimonials To Show Typical Results

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…