Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
November 20, 2012
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi’s Office Requires Online Advertising Service Provider to Reform Practices
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office has reached a settlement with Clickbooth.com, LLC, an online advertising network. The settlement resolves allegations that advertisements within the Clickbooth.com advertising network were deceptively designed by its affiliates to replicate actual news articles. The fake news items often included fabricated consumer comments and other misleading statements. As part of the settlement, Clickbooth.com must reform and monitor its advertising practices as well as pay $500,000 to the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office acknowledges the assistance of the Federal Trade Commission in this case.
“Online advertising service providers are responsible for ensuring that the advertisements they facilitate within their networks are clear and accurate,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am pleased that Clickbooth.com has cooperated with my office and will ensure that its affiliates’ advertisements do not include misrepresentations or omissions.”
A “fake news site” is an advertisement that appears to be a news report, blog or article. Clickbooth.com has agreed to ensure that all “fake news site” advertisements facilitated within its advertising network include the word “advertisement” and the phrase, “This is an advertisement and not an actual news article, blog, or consumer protection update.”
Additionally, Clickbooth.com must ensure that each advertising affiliate takes steps to prevent any misrepresentations or material omissions, including but not limited to preventing comments from people other than actual users of the product, misusing IP addresses to plug in information in the article, and using bogus information regarding the expiration of any deals or falsely implying limited quantities are available.
Follow the link to view a copy of the AVC: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-927HF2/$file/Clickbooth+AVC.pdf