Media Companies Said to Mislead Customers

     (CN) – Coral Springs, Fla.-based Platinum Television Group and three other companies sold infomercials to unsuspecting local businesses and government entities, leading their victims to believe the productions were legitimate news programs, Florida’s attorney general claims.
     In a lawsuit filed in the Broward County circuit court on May 15, state Attorney General Pam Bondi charges that Platinum Television and co-defendants New Line Media Solutions, U.S. Media Television and FR Media, sold advertising product by claiming it would be a featured on an “independent and objective, magazine-style, television show hosted by a celebrity.”
     The programs were all allegedly produced by the defendants under such titles as “Business Day,” “Today in America” and “Forbes Living.” But Bondi claims these programs didn’t exist as described.
     Instead, she says, the defendants would purchase 2 to 5 minute time slots from cable companies like CNN and Fox and then air the segments locally as paid programming.
     Customers were under the impression they were paying a “licensing fee” to cover the use of the segment by the client after the show aired, according to the complaint. the fee was between $19,000 and $30,000- which went directly to Platinum and New Line.
     The complaint also alleged that the defendants allowed telemarketers to use fake names and misleading biographical information when soliciting customers to avoid potential responsibility.
     Bondi seeks injunctive and equitable relief, full restitution to affected customers, and civil penalties.
     Assistant Attorney General Howard Dargan is prosecuting the case through the attorney general’s West Palm Beach office.
     Representatives for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.

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