11-10-2016 12:07 AM
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  1. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    EDIT: People seem to be glossing through this and assuming it's the same 'they can't say Only at Verizon!!!" complaint. It's not. For the main point, look to the part I've edited to emphasize in red text.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    I've commented in threads past where people have accused Verizon of fraudulent advertising for their stating that saying "Only at Verizon" that technically those ads had phrased it in such a way that while the majority of people would infer that it could only be used on Verizon's network (counting those of us here as the minority), there was some key phrasing that made it actually true - such as saying ".......... with up to $400 back. Only at Verizon." The pacing made it easy to look at that last clause as a separate statement, but it wasn't. While I'm not a fan of it, it's the commonplace spin all marketing groups apply to boost their respective brands, and there's no laws requiring them to make efforts to avoid misinterpretations.

    But let's take a look at this latest TV commercial...


    Transcript:
    ANNOUNCER: "The new Pixel phone by Google, only on Verizon"
    GUY IN VEST: "Ok, Google. Show me Korean restaurants in Boulder."
    GOOGLE ASSISTANT: "I found a few places."
    ANNOUNCER: "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."
    WOMAN W/ VR: "How is this possible?"
    ANNOUNCER: "So buy a Pixel, only on Verizon, and get up to $300 back. And right now get 4 lines and 20 Gigs for just $160 with no surprise overages, all on America's best network."

    Looking at the Announcer's three statements.

    "The new Pixel phone by Google, only on Verizon"
    Well, this is false. They could say only at Verizon, as it (or Best Buy on behalf of Verizon) is the only physical location at which it can be purchased (at least in the USA). This is the first instance I recall seeing them state this without a qualifier to provide defensibility.

    "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."
    This is 100% false. In order for this statement to be valid by any interpretation, Verizon doesn't have to be the only carrier capable of powering any of these three - it has to be the only carrier capable of powering all three. If any one other carrier can power all three, it's fraudulent advertising. Problem for Verizon is that every wireless carrier in the world that can deliver reasonably high speed data can power all three (and all of the major players in the US easily meet that criteria).
    1. Google Assistant only requires Internet connectivity, so any compatible network (and the Pixels are compatible with virtually every wireless network worldwide) offering even modest speed of data will be able to power it.
    2. Unlimited photo storage is not a network feature in any way, and most people will likely set their phones to only back up over WiFi. And realistically, Verizon is probably the least preferable network on which to back it up directly due to lack of competitive high-use/unlimited data options.
    3. DayDream VR, like photo storage - only takes an Internet connection (albeit a speedy one), and Verizon is one of the less wallet-friendly options of the carriers on which to do it over their network as opposed to over WiFi.

    Verizon's claim here is completely false - they can't tout that over any of the other major US networks, much less all of them. This is in clear violation of the FTC's Truth in Advertising laws: "When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears – in newspapers and magazines, online, in the mail, or on billboards or buses."


    "So buy a Pixel, only on Verizon, and get up to $300 back. And right now get 4 lines and 20 Gigs for just $160 with no surprise overages, all on America's best network"
    This I have no problem with - there's nothing whatsoever wrong from a marketing perspective here. They're the only ones offering that exact amount back. There should be no surprise overages so long as on entering the agreement a customer has read all the terms and understand that there can be overages, and how costly they will be. As to the "America's best network" claim, they have metrics to validate that claim (and it's irrelevant that the other carriers all have metrics by which to make the same claim).

    On an unrelated side note... Anyone else think that this commercial would have been a LOT more entertaining if they'd brought in Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer from Seinfeld to do it? Kramer reacting to the VR would be priceless!
    11-07-2016 12:08 AM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    IMO yes, but I'm probably wrong because their lawyers disagree with me.
    11-07-2016 01:15 AM
  3. Richard Servello's Avatar
    Sorry. Verizon is the only carrier that is selling it in store. It's not false in any way and there's no law stating they have to mention that it's also available thru google.
    11-07-2016 08:12 AM
  4. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    Sorry. Verizon is the only carrier that is selling it in store. It's not false in any way and there's no law stating they have to mention that it's also available thru google.
    Guessing you read the subject line and not the post. I'll repost the part that's a flat-out false statement in violation:

    "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."

    This isn't about exclusivity of selling the phone; this is about them declaring that no other network can provide these functionalities, when the truth is that virtually any network in the world is capable of doing so.
    11-07-2016 09:52 AM
  5. DrJay1's Avatar
    I think that Verizon, like many (most?) advertisers knows that the majority of people don't think through or deeply analyze what's being said, and they gear their pitches to those masses.
    11-07-2016 09:53 AM
  6. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    I think that Verizon, like many (most?) advertisers knows that the majority of people don't think through or deeply analyze what's being said, and they gear their pitches to those masses.
    That's fine for their spinning a truth to weave a different perception that fits their marketing needs, but the pitch has to be accurate. Those folks are paid a lot of money not just to be very creative, but very careful with their words. Here, that statement is pretty cut and dry, and is, in applicability of TIA law, both misleading and not truthful.
    11-07-2016 10:01 AM
  7. Richard Servello's Avatar
    Guessing you read the subject line and not the post. I'll repost the part that's a flat-out false statement in violation:

    "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."

    This isn't about exclusivity of selling the phone; this is about them declaring that no other network can provide these functionalities, when the truth is that virtually any network in the world is capable of doing so.
    I didn't. There is legal involved on ALL advertising. Because Verizon has an exclusive deal with Google, that deal would probably include that verbiage.
    11-07-2016 10:13 AM
  8. vzwuser76's Avatar
    Guessing you read the subject line and not the post. I'll repost the part that's a flat-out false statement in violation:

    "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."

    This isn't about exclusivity of selling the phone; this is about them declaring that no other network can provide these functionalities, when the truth is that virtually any network in the world is capable of doing so.
    It's not really different than T-Mobile saying their network is the only one to get the most out of your iPhone. It all depends on what you use your iPhone for.

    I'd guarantee that Verizon's lawyers have to sign off on any ads the company puts out. They're more well versed in what's legal and what isn't. It's not to say it isn't misleading if you don't read the fine print, but that's true of most any ad out today. Otherwise how can Chevy, Ford, and Dodge all have the best selling truck? In the fine print is where the truth usually resides. And it's no different in this case.

    If anything, I'm surprised no one has ever mentioned the ads Ricky Gervais did when they made fun of Sprint's coverage map with the disclaimer at the bottom saying that it isn't an accurate representation of coverage, like Verizon's are superior in that regard. Verizon's coverage map has the same disclaimer they made fun of Sprint for having, and I've been told the same thing by Verizon employees (both CSRs and their engineers).

    Regardless, if we're speaking in technicalities, which is what advertising is anymore, saying the "Pixel only on Google" isn't fraudulent, since what they say after that, access to the most advanced network and best coverage, blah, blah, blah is accurate. You're only going to get those things on Verizon's network. You can't just take that one line and say it's false, you have to add in the message of the entire ad and then judge if it's false or not. There's a reason that the saying "read the fine print" is so well known.
    11-07-2016 10:35 AM
  9. bhatech's Avatar
    Nothing new these crappy carriers always lie maybe Verizon more than anyone. But they will probably have some fine print displayed somewhere in the ad which we can't see to cover them legally. Unfortunately, normal man falls for these tricks.
    11-07-2016 10:40 AM
  10. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    I didn't. There is legal involved on ALL advertising. Because Verizon has an exclusive deal with Google, that deal would probably include that verbiage.
    Google and Verizon can make all the deals they want, but even if they were to both agree on that statement, they're still required to comply with the law - and this in no way appears to comply.

    If I'm missing some angle by which that statement can be defined as either truthful or not misleading - heck, drop the misleading and just make it truthful - I'll certainly concede point, but I just don't see it - if you have a different perspective that clearly explains how it can, I'd certainly appreciate the enlightenment.
    11-07-2016 10:48 AM
  11. 1213 1213's Avatar
    IMO yes, but I'm probably wrong because their lawyers disagree with me.
    Yeah, they probably got lawyers to look through each of them line by line. Or maybe they didn't, who knows.
    11-07-2016 10:51 AM
  12. shady195's Avatar
    Is this really a thread?

    Is this affecting anyone here personally?

    I'm pretty sure if this was an actual legal issue that was somehow hurting the brand or pixel, google would be suing verizon, as I'm sure in this agreement these sort of things need to be mutually discussed.
    WallaceD likes this.
    11-07-2016 10:51 AM
  13. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    Regardless, if we're speaking in technicalities, which is what advertising is anymore, saying the "Pixel only on Google" isn't fraudulent, since what they say after that, access to the most advanced network and best coverage, blah, blah, blah is accurate. You're only going to get those things on Verizon's network. You can't just take that one line and say it's false, you have to add in the message of the entire ad and then judge if it's false or not. There's a reason that the saying "read the fine print" is so well known.
    Each independent declaration, or sentence, has to stand true on its own, unless directly augmented by another or qualified by 'fine print.' So let's read the fine print and see if I missed anything (spoiler: I didn't):

    1. "Daydream View Headset sold separately"
    2. "Device payment purchase req'd. Up to $300 trade-in credit applied over 24 mos. w/ trade in of eligible phone in good, working and cosmetic condition; credit starts w/in 2-3 cycles and ends when balance is paid. Line must be active for 2 yrs. for full credit."
    3. "No surprise overages when you choose Safety Mode. 4 smartphone lines on device payment agreement on the Verizon 12GB promotional plan req'd. 2 GB of bonus data applied per month/line, as long as line remains active on $20 line access on new Verizon Plan size L (8GB) or above; applied w/in 2-3 cycles & does not carry over. Limited time offer. Subject to VZW Agmts, Calling Plan, and credit approval."
    4. "No surprise overages when you choose Safety Mode."


    None of these offer any qualification or modification in reference to Verizon's ability, or other carriers' inability, to power the three aforementioned capabilities when Verizon is claiming exclusive ability to collectively empower.

    You can choose to prefer to look at the ad collectively, but it is the sum of its parts when each, as a claim, is a wholly separate component. If one part of the ad is blatantly and demonstrably untrue, it is in violation.

    Is this really a thread?

    Is this affecting anyone here personally?

    I'm pretty sure if this was an actual legal issue that was somehow hurting the brand or pixel, google would be suing verizon, as I'm sure in this agreement these sort of things need to be mutually discussed.
    Yes

    Potentially people who see the ad, absolutely want the Pixel, and don't buy it (even from the Google store) to use on another network because, even with exercising a cautious eye to detail, they are led to believe that the Pixel would not be able to provide all three of these functionalities on their other preferred network.

    Google isn't being hurt by this, but I'd be surprised if T-Mo, Sprint, nor AT&T take action.
    11-07-2016 11:01 AM
  14. Richard Servello's Avatar
    Google and Verizon can make all the deals they want, but even if they were to both agree on that statement, they're still required to comply with the law - and this in no way appears to comply.

    If I'm missing some angle by which that statement can be defined as either truthful or not misleading - heck, drop the misleading and just make it truthful - I'll certainly concede point, but I just don't see it - if you have a different perspective that clearly explains how it can, I'd certainly appreciate the enlightenment.
    Do us all a favor and cite the exact statute it violates. Thanks.
    anon(9227267) likes this.
    11-07-2016 11:10 AM
  15. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    Do us all a favor and cite the exact statute it violates. Thanks.
    Sure thing.

    I could have dug up the detail earlier, but figured that for simple argument the general 'consumer friendly' summary from the FTC website I linked earlier would be sufficient. Took me a few minutes to find it, but here you go:

    15 USC CHAPTER 2, SUBCHAPTER I: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    Verizon in violation of Truth in Avertising laws?-capture.png

    So I'm no attorney, but I think this ad meets the criteria. Verizon is corporation. Check. They disseminated an ad intended to have an effect on commerce to induce purchase of devices. Check. The disseminated ad was a false advertisement. Check. It's in violation, being an "unfair or deceptive act or practice" as defined under subsection (b) within the provisions of subsection (a) of the section.
    11-07-2016 11:49 AM
  16. Almeuit's Avatar
    I bet their lawyers are using the loophole of "Oh we mean only on Verizon as in you can only buy through that carrier and not the others" or something dumb like that.
    1213 1213 likes this.
    11-07-2016 11:52 AM
  17. anon(9227267)'s Avatar
    I bet their lawyers are using the loophole of "Oh we mean only on Verizon as in you can only buy through that carrier and not the others" or something dumb like that.
    A lawyer using a loophole - NO WAY! -

    IMO - anybody who expects any company to follow the rules at anytime really needs to take a reality pill -
    11-07-2016 11:59 AM
  18. Almeuit's Avatar
    A lawyer using a loophole - NO WAY! -

    IMO - anybody who expects any company to follow the rules at anytime really needs to take a reality pill -
    I am just used to the TV advertising and the "play on words" as people call it. It is always how they say it (even though we know what they mean).
    anon(9227267) likes this.
    11-07-2016 12:01 PM
  19. Richard Servello's Avatar
    Sure thing.

    I could have dug up the detail earlier, but figured that for simple argument the general 'consumer friendly' summary from the FTC website I linked earlier would be sufficient. Took me a few minutes to find it, but here you go:

    15 USC CHAPTER 2, SUBCHAPTER I: FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture.PNG 
Views:	21 
Size:	26.4 KB 
ID:	245507

    So I'm no attorney, but I think this ad meets the criteria. Verizon is corporation. Check. They disseminated an ad intended to have an effect on commerce to induce purchase of devices. Check. The disseminated ad was a false advertisement. Check. It's in violation, being an "unfair or deceptive act or practice" as defined under subsection (b) within the provisions of subsection (a) of the section.
    They are the ONLY carrier that exclusively sells pixel in their stores...what is misunderstood here???
    11-07-2016 12:26 PM
  20. Ry's Avatar
    So when's the lawsuit?
    WallaceD likes this.
    11-07-2016 01:00 PM
  21. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    They are the ONLY carrier that exclusively sells pixel in their stores...what is misunderstood here???
    The misunderstanding seems to be coming from your continuing to the content of my original post and my repeated reminders to you that I'm not commenting on their sales exclusivity claims, but rather their assertion regarding functionality of device on different networks. To be candid, I don't see how I can be more clear on the specific advertising point I'm addressing, and will have to take any further 'misunderstanding' as willful.

    To be abundantly diligent, I'll emphasize it more to avoid further confusion...

    "The only network that can power the first phone with the new Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and a stunning VR experience."

    Let's just focus on that statement. It has nothing to do with where you can or can't buy it, or whether the device can be activated only on certain networks. It's saying that Verizon's is the only network capable of providing those functionalities. There is no truth in that. Plenty of people using Google Assistant and unlimited photo storage with their Pixels powered by Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. And when the VR ships, they'll be able to use them the same as Verizon (who isn't selling them yet either, so can't claim that they're powering them now as a defense).

    It isn't stopping at saying they're the only one who does power those things. It's going so far as to state that they're the only one who can power them. They might as well say "The only network that can power a phone with Internet access."
    11-07-2016 01:05 PM
  22. tgrsnpr's Avatar
    Verizon isn't violating anything since this phone (as of now) is exclusive to Verizon. However it works for other networks because the phone is being provided by Google and Google probably did not allow CDMA only version of the pixel. Verizon is also required to have their phones sim unlocked thus this allowing people to buy it from Verizon and using it with other networks.
    11-07-2016 02:58 PM
  23. miyanc's Avatar
    Verizon isn't violating anything since this phone (as of now) is exclusive to Verizon. However it works for other networks because the phone is being provided by Google and Google probably did not allow CDMA only version of the pixel. Verizon is also required to have their phones sim unlocked thus this allowing people to buy it from Verizon and using it with other networks.
    I think of this in 2 ways. The real violation in the statement is not the fact that you can remove the sim card and put your own in. That's like ford saying our cars are sold only with goodyear and the dealership modifies a truck with special tires on before you get and run back in and say HAHAHAHAAH. your in violation of advertising laws. or you buy it and put your own tires on it. Also as of now the only phones that will run daydream is the pixel. so far all is good legally.
    Now to where someone may have an issue, Google FI. Isnt that suppose to be a carrier? So if anyone could have an issue it would be GOOGLE, but as we all know they are the ones who made this deal so it may not matter.

    I bet google and verizon could come up with variations in the phones full potential and show that it does work better or to the fullest potential on there network and as a result of this, and the daydream only working on pixels, for now, then the commercial is fine, until its released on other networks.

    By then they will have changed there commercials. Oh and btw can you put the att card in and still get access to go90, my verizon and verizon messanger? oh well then its not up to its full potential.
    11-07-2016 03:19 PM
  24. Jeremy8000's Avatar
    Verizon isn't violating anything since this phone (as of now) is exclusive to Verizon. However it works for other networks because the phone is being provided by Google and Google probably did not allow CDMA only version of the pixel. Verizon is also required to have their phones sim unlocked thus this allowing people to buy it from Verizon and using it with other networks.
    Exclusivity or lack thereof, and claims relative to such exclusivity, are 100% irrelevant to this post which is focusing on a totally different claim regarding actual network capability of supporting three specific features of the Pixel.

    Verizon stated they are the only network capable of powering those features. It would take only one example of another carrier (at least in the US, where they are performing this advertising) to be capable of driving all three of those features to prove their claim illegitimate. As it stands, all major US carriers can disprove them.

    This isn't about 'can the phone work on other carriers' as Verizon has never said it couldn't. What they did say is that they are the only ones for whom three very specific features would work, and they lied.


    By then they will have changed there commercials. Oh and btw can you put the att card in and still get access to go90, my verizon and verizon messanger? oh well then its not up to its full potential.
    Snipped part of it because again we have a post ignoring the core of the argument. Just to point on this, the statement issued by Verizon did not say anything about those items. It spoke solely to their network's unique capability to power Google Assistant, unlimited photo storage, and VR. These take nothing more than an internet connection as offered by any of their competitors.


    Also... added emphasis in OP to the main point, since most seem to miss it.
    11-07-2016 03:24 PM
  25. shady195's Avatar
    Each independent declaration, or sentence, has to stand true on its own, unless directly augmented by another or qualified by 'fine print.' So let's read the fine print and see if I missed anything (spoiler: I didn't):

    1. "Daydream View Headset sold separately"
    2. "Device payment purchase req'd. Up to $300 trade-in credit applied over 24 mos. w/ trade in of eligible phone in good, working and cosmetic condition; credit starts w/in 2-3 cycles and ends when balance is paid. Line must be active for 2 yrs. for full credit."
    3. "No surprise overages when you choose Safety Mode. 4 smartphone lines on device payment agreement on the Verizon 12GB promotional plan req'd. 2 GB of bonus data applied per month/line, as long as line remains active on $20 line access on new Verizon Plan size L (8GB) or above; applied w/in 2-3 cycles & does not carry over. Limited time offer. Subject to VZW Agmts, Calling Plan, and credit approval."
    4. "No surprise overages when you choose Safety Mode."


    None of these offer any qualification or modification in reference to Verizon's ability, or other carriers' inability, to power the three aforementioned capabilities when Verizon is claiming exclusive ability to collectively empower.

    You can choose to prefer to look at the ad collectively, but it is the sum of its parts when each, as a claim, is a wholly separate component. If one part of the ad is blatantly and demonstrably untrue, it is in violation.



    Yes

    Potentially people who see the ad, absolutely want the Pixel, and don't buy it (even from the Google store) to use on another network because, even with exercising a cautious eye to detail, they are led to believe that the Pixel would not be able to provide all three of these functionalities on their other preferred network.

    Google isn't being hurt by this, but I'd be surprised if T-Mo, Sprint, nor AT&T take action.
    By that logic, just about every single phone company who has a carrier exclusive model (which can be purchased directly and used on other networks) would be in the wrong here as well..

    Because there is no "deal" with the other phone carriers, just google offering the unlocked version on their own account, they are not in any sort of legal wrong doing. Other carriers would have absolutely 0 grounds to sue Google based on your statement.

    This thread is honestly silly, a bunch of internet law experts debating on if Verizons marketing scheme is illegal when its not.
    anon(9227267) and WallaceD like this.
    11-07-2016 04:22 PM
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