Empty promises in mobile games: reward often fails to materialize

Empty promises in mobile games: reward often fails to materialize

U.S. trade regulator accuses an advertising company of taking advantage of cell phone users. The company Tapjoy mediates advertising in mobile games. It promises rewards such as virtual coins, diamonds or gold bars if players meet certain requirements. These include purchasing from advertising partners or disclosing private data. Alone, the rewards are said to have often failed to materialize.

Hundreds of thousands of affected people have complained to Tapjoy according to the report. "Many consumers complained that they spent significant amounts of money to fulfill Tapjoy’s various offers, or disclosed sensitive private information such as their medical history or contact information, but still did not receive the promised rewards", the FTC announces.

FTC offers settlement

Tapjoy was aware of the problems, but still continued to advertise purported rewards. In addition, the company has established hurdles for complaints. Now the FTC is proposing a settlement with Tapjoy and inviting anyone to comment on the draft before it is approved.

Tapjoy will no longer be allowed to make empty promises under the draft settlement and will have to monitor its advertisers to see if they are actually paying out the rewards. If necessary, Tapjoy must impose sanctions. In addition, the company must handle consumer complaints. For each violation of the settlement, the company could face a fine of up to 43.280 US dollars (around 35.400 euros).

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