Mercedes Pulls Potentially Confusing Ads For 2017 E-Class That Call The Car ‘Self-Driving’

Mercedes Pulls Potentially Confusing Ads For 2017 E-Class That Call The Car ‘Self-Driving’

Fully autonomous cars will be available to consumers someday, but not yet. After consumer advocates, including our own parent organization, Consumer Reports, complained to Mercedes and to the Federal Trade Commission about the misleading nature of an ad that shows off a new model’s driver-assist features. The car isn’t autonomous, but advocates were concerned that the ads imply that it is. [More]

Cancer Centers Tripled Ad Spending In Last Decade; Are They Pushing Hope Or Hype?

Cancer Centers Tripled Ad Spending In Last Decade; Are They Pushing Hope Or Hype?

If you watch cable TV — especially basic cable during the daytime — you’ve likely seen your share of heartwarming ads showing off cancer survivors who were saved from the brink by the handsome physicians and nurses at [Fill In The Blank] cancer treatment center. Over the last decade, direct-to-consumer marketing by cancer centers has soared, with much of that spending concentrated in the hands of about two dozen operators. However, some doctors are concerned that these ads aren’t selling patients on the reality, but on the experiences of a few rare cases. [More]

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Being a “social media influencer” must be a pretty sweet deal: People send you free stuff, and pay you money just in the hopes that you’ll say nice things about their products. Problem is, those companies can get into trouble if the influencers don’t properly reveal that they were paid for their commentary. [More]

Facebook Would Like To Know If An Advertiser Scammed You

Facebook Would Like To Know If An Advertiser Scammed You

It’s one thing if an online ad is misleading or misrepresents the site that you click on, but what happens when you order an item that isn’t as promised? As overseas clothing companies that market solely through Facebook have proliferated, some customers blame Facebook, even though the site doesn’t vet the products and services of every advertiser. Now, at least, Facebook wants to listen if you’re scammed or misled by an ad on the site. [More]

Ford Dealership Swipes Video Game Art For Ad; Doesn’t Understand How DMCA Works

Ford Dealership Swipes Video Game Art For Ad; Doesn’t Understand How DMCA Works

We live in an age where a digital copy of just about any piece of artwork is obtainable for free with a couple of clicks and taps on your computer or phone. That doesn’t mean you can just use said artwork in an ad to tell people about some deal on a 2016 Ford Focus. [More]

Wells Fargo Must Remove Signs Built To “Photo Bomb” New Minnesota Vikings Stadium

Wells Fargo Must Remove Signs Built To “Photo Bomb” New Minnesota Vikings Stadium

Our brief regional nightmare is over, after a federal court ordered Wells Fargo to take down two rooftop signs erected to cash in on the impending media coverage of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. [More]

David Blackwell

One Free Meal From A Pharma Sales Rep May Be Enough To Change Doctors’ Prescribing Habits

Your physician may have any number of degrees, honors, certifications, and other framed pieces of paper mounted to their office walls, but does any of that make them less susceptible to a glad-handing pharmaceutical sales rep who comes armed with some reading materials, free samples, and a lunch charged to their expense account? [More]

This KFC Box Will Also (Slightly) Charge Your iPhone

This KFC Box Will Also (Slightly) Charge Your iPhone

Do you often have to make the decision between going out for fast food fried chicken and charging your phone? Thanks to this new-fangled box from KFC, you may never have to make the choice between greasy fingers and updating your Instagram. [More]

Judge Dismisses Blue Moon “Craft Beer” Lawsuit Against MillerCoors (Again)

Judge Dismisses Blue Moon “Craft Beer” Lawsuit Against MillerCoors (Again)

Last year, a California man sued MillerCoors over its continued labeling of its Blue Moon brew as a “craft beer.” In October, a federal court threw out the case against the mega-brewer. A federal judge has now ended the argument once and for all, dismissing an amended complaint the plaintiff filed after the first case was tossed out. [More]

Alec Taback

Following Comcast Complaints, Ad Watchdog Says Verizon Should Revise Its “#1 In Internet Speed” Claims

Which broadband company has the blah blah blah fastest blah blah? Virtually all of them claim to be the best and speediest, using various surveys and statistics to justify their numbers, and subtly couching their boasts in language that best suits their goal. However, a private ad industry watchdog says that Comcast has a justifiable gripe about the way Verizon has advertised FiOS internet speeds. [More]

@jessicacediel

Adidas Misspells “Colombia” In Soccer Ads, Gets Sent Back To 3rd Grade Geography

Someone at Adidas must have been snoozing during the South American geography lesson in elementary school, because how else could you explain the company splashing “Columbia” all over ads featuring the Colombian soccer team? [More]

Patrick

Court Slams Brakes On San Francisco’s Mandatory Warnings On Soda Ads

Only a few weeks ago, a federal court refused to halt a new San Francisco ordinance requiring soda companies to place warnings on all their ads in the city, but today that same court decided to grant a temporary injunction preventing the rule from kicking in while the beverage industry appeals its case. [More]

Your Kids’ Lesson Plans Are Being Brought To You By Pfizer, WD-40, & Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Your Kids’ Lesson Plans Are Being Brought To You By Pfizer, WD-40, & Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

It’s one thing for a huge drug company, manufacturer, trade group, or media conglomerate to use their considerable coffers to fund educational programs, but what about when the ultimate goal of those programs is to just advertise products, movies, and TV shows to kids and their parents under the guise of education? [More]

David Menidrey

Americans Apparently Don’t Hate Mobile Ads As Badly As Rest Of The World

If you’re using ad-blocking technology on your smartphone, you’re not alone. Some 2.5 million Americans are employing mobile browsers and other tech on their devices to avoid unwanted ads, but that’s nothing compared to the vast number of consumers blocking ads in China, India, and Indonesia. [More]

@frankiegreek

This Is How You Fail At Sponsored Social Media Posts

We’ve written in the past about how it’s illegal not to disclose when you’re getting paid to post about a product on social media like. There was nothing under-the-radar about a recent sponsored Instagram photo reality TV person Scott Disick posted, however. [More]

Google Invests In Payday Lender While Banning Ads For Payday Loans

Google Invests In Payday Lender While Banning Ads For Payday Loans

Last week, Google announced it would no longer include ads for payday lenders — financial services, outlawed in many states, that offer short-term, small-dollar loans, often with triple-digit interest rates — to protect “users from deceptive or harmful financial products.” All the while, Google’s parent company is investing in a startup that offers loans with annual percentage rates as high as 600%. [More]

LearningRx To Pay $200K For Allegedly Unproven Claims That Brain Training Can Improve Income, Treat Autism & ADHD

LearningRx To Pay $200K For Allegedly Unproven Claims That Brain Training Can Improve Income, Treat Autism & ADHD

The company behind the LearningRX “brain training” program has agreed to pay a $200,000 settlement and to stop making claims that its system is clinically proven to treat serious health conditions, or that it can dramatically improves a user’s IQ or income. [More]

Court Upholds Judgment Against Napster Co-Founder In Jerk.Com Case

Court Upholds Judgment Against Napster Co-Founder In Jerk.Com Case

Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission accused Napster co-founder, and creator of Jerk.com, John Fanning of pilfering data from Facebook accounts then charging people $30 each to manage their online reputations. A federal appeals court recently upheld most of the FTC’s ruling that Fanning deceived consumers about the source of the information contained on Jerk.com and the benefits of paying for membership. [More]