NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. regulators said Thursday that ADT Corp. has settled charges that it deceived consumers by paying people to recommend its home security products on media outlets without disclosing their connection to the company.
The Federal Trade Commission said ADT paid child-safety, home-security and technology experts more than $300,000 to promote its ADT Pulse security system online and on TV, including during a January 2011 segment on NBC’s “Today” show. One expert received more than $200,000 and two of them received a free ADT Pulse security system and monthly monitoring service, which the FTC said is worth about $4,000.
ADT set up the media interviews through its public relations firms and booking agents, the commission said. The paid endorsers were introduced by show hosts and reporters as experts and their connection to ADT was never revealed. The endorsers also talked about other products, making the segment look as if it was an unbiased review.
ADT agreed to remove misrepresented reviews and endorsements and to disclose any future endorsements clearly, the FTC said.
A representative for ADT, which is based in Boca Raton, Fla., said the company is happy to have resolved the matter amicably. A representative from NBC said the network is reviewing the matter.
The FTC said the settlement is part of its crackdown on misleading endorsements in advertising.