badvertising

Lenovo Will Pay $3.5 Million To States For Privacy-Invading Ad Software

Lenovo Will Pay $3.5 Million To States For Privacy-Invading Ad Software

Only hours after Lenovo got off with what amounted to a warning and a promise to not do illegal stuff going forward, the tech company has agreed to pay a total of $3.5 million to a coalition of 32 states to settle allegations that Lenovo knowingly sold laptops that came with ad-injection software that put all of their online data at risk. [More]

How Much Is Instagram Verification Worth On The Black Market?

How Much Is Instagram Verification Worth On The Black Market?

Here in the social media era, everyone is a brand — but some more than others. Verified “influencers” on social media platforms can make a pretty penny selling access to their influence… and so it perhaps is unsurprising that the ability to influence is, itself, a hot commodity you can buy. [More]

Lisa Brewster

Gambling Services Use Big Data To Target Recovering Gamblers, Low-Income Families

We’re becoming inured to seeing online ads that are targeted to our locations, our browsing histories, and maybe even our offline shopping behavior, but is there a difference between advertising home theater systems to someone who has been searching for 80″ TVs and advertising online gambling services to people you’ve identified as having problems with gambling? [More]

Kerry Lannert

There’s A Good Chance A Cosmetic Surgeon Advertising On Instagram Is Not Board-Certified

Don’t select your plastic surgeon based solely on their Instagram posts. That feels like something we shouldn’t have to tell people, but the “bad idea”-ness of it all is being highlighted by a new report which found that fewer than 20% of cosmetic surgery posts on Instagram are from board-certified plastic surgeons. [More]

Google

Google Warns 1,000 Annoying Advertisers That They’ll Be Blocked On Chrome If They Don’t Shape Up

If you’re tired of auto-playing videos with sound, pop-up ads, and other annoying advertising tricks, well, join the club. Google knows how you feel, and is planning to start blocking those by default in both its desktop and mobile versions of Chrome sometime next year. But first, it’s giving publishers a grace period to clean up their acts. [More]

Report: Instagram Influencers Continue To Ignore Warnings About Stealth Ads

Report: Instagram Influencers Continue To Ignore Warnings About Stealth Ads

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission issued dozens of friendly reminders to brands that they were potentially breaking advertising/endorsement rules by compensating Instagram “influencers” without being transparent about this sponsorship. According to a new report, this message apparently didn’t influence the influencers, many of whom continue to stealth-advertise to their followers. [More]

Instagram Makes It Easier For ‘Influencers’ To Tag Sponsored Posts

Instagram Makes It Easier For ‘Influencers’ To Tag Sponsored Posts

Consumer watchdogs and the federal government have been cracking down on undisclosed “stealth” advertising on social media — particularly Instagram, where celebrities of all stripes have been caught shilling for products without disclosing they were compensated. In an effort to make it easier for these “influencers” to be more transparent about sponsored posts, Instagram has launched a new “paid partnership” label. [More]

Belgian King “Not Happy” With Burger King’s Effort To Unseat Him

Belgian King “Not Happy” With Burger King’s Effort To Unseat Him

Who is more deserving to be the Belgian monarch: A man who was — literally — born to do the job, or a fast food chain? However silly that question might sound, it’s one that the actual King of Belgium would rather Burger King didn’t ask. [More]

Levi’s

Levi’s Slammed For Referencing AIDS Memorial Quilt To Sell Jeans

While it’s always refreshing to see big companies trying to do their part to give back to their customers and support important social issues, sometimes these efforts hit the wrong note. To wit: Levi’s is facing backlash on social media over a Tweet promoting its upcoming Pride collection. [More]

Hyundai Will Review TV Ad Featuring Profoundly Irresponsible Driver

Hyundai Will Review TV Ad Featuring Profoundly Irresponsible Driver

Hyundai has decided to give some additional thought to a new ad for the Sonata where the driver gleefully tests the car’s semi-autonomous safety features by behaving like a reckless buffoon. [More]

NutriMost ‘Ultimate Fat Loss’ System Slammed With $32 Million Judgment For Overblown Weight Loss Claims

NutriMost ‘Ultimate Fat Loss’ System Slammed With $32 Million Judgment For Overblown Weight Loss Claims

The marketing for the NutriMost Ultimate Fat Loss system claimed that users could drop 40 pounds, or more, in just 40 days, and without having to fret about calories. However, the Federal Trade Commission says that this $1,900 program is not backed by any science, actually requires a starvation-level diet, uses before-and-after examples from people related to the company, and forces customers to sign agreements that prevent them from saying anything bad about the program. [More]

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Feds Warn Social Media ‘Influencers’ To Stop It Already With The Stealth Ads

Like it or not, the fact is that we’ve crossed through the mirror into a world where people are paid lots of money to mention a product, wear an article of clothing, or sip some ab-tightening tea… not because they are famous but because they get paid lots of money to mention products they got for free, wear comped clothing, and drink dubious tea — a well-dressed, flat-tummied, ouroboros shown off in impeccably framed and filtered Instagram shots. You might find it repellant, but it’s legal, so long as all of that cash and compensation is adequately disclosed — a message that a number of “influencers” and their handlers have either ignored or not received. [More]

Google Blocks Burger King Whopper Ad From Triggering Google Home

Google Blocks Burger King Whopper Ad From Triggering Google Home

Well, that was quick: Soon after Burger King launched a new ad designed to force any Google Home devices within range to wake up and spit out a list of the Whopper’s ingredients, Google has apparently disabled the functionality that triggers the devices. [More]

This Burger King Ad Forces Your Google Home Device To Tell You About Whoppers

This Burger King Ad Forces Your Google Home Device To Tell You About Whoppers

You might think you’re the master of your own home, controlling all the internet-connected devices within it and bending them to your will with the touch of a button or an uttered command. But Burger King is trying to sneak into your home through the TV with a new ad that tries to trigger the voice-activated Google Home. [More]

Today In Badvertising: Pepsi Solves Social Strife With Soda; Nivea Says “White Is Purity”

Today In Badvertising: Pepsi Solves Social Strife With Soda; Nivea Says “White Is Purity”

Two major brands — Pepsi and Nivea — are under fire this week on social media for ads that some say are offensive and tone deaf. [More]

Yortw

Prepare For Deluge Of Fax Spam On Machines You Haven’t Used Since 2004

In 2005, just about the time many of us were finally giving up on fax machines, the ever-hip Congress passed the Junk Fax Prevention Act, severely restricting the use of fax machines for advertising purposes. However, a federal appeals court ruled today — when there are college students who don’t even know what a fax is — that the FCC overstepped its authority in writing the actual regulations tied to this law. [More]

Felix Salmon

This Pharmacy Ad Suggests “Very, Very Strong Antibiotics” Even When They Won’t Do Any Good

When you’re sick, it makes sense that you want a pill to just make all the symptoms go away, which is probably why some doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics even when they aren’t necessary and may, in fact, cause harm. It probably doesn’t help when a pharmacy perpetuates the myth that we should just take antibiotics whenever we might be sick. [More]

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

For years, marketers of sketchy dietary supplements have cooked up fake news websites and used bogus “reporters” to push their product online. But we stumbled on one site that quadruples down on the fiction, attributing utterly made-up endorsements to bona fide stars of stage, screen, sports, and science. [More]