Fox News, the largest cable news network in the United States, is accused by a new lawsuit of violating the False Advertising Act (FAA) by allowing advertisers to pay to appear on its news and information programs.
The lawsuit filed by the Center for Media Justice (CMD) on Wednesday names Fox News as the defendant and asks a judge to declare that the network’s advertising practices violate the FAA.
Fox News’ advertising practices “invite and incentivize individuals to engage in deceptive conduct,” according to the complaint.
“Fox News also encourages the purchase and distribution of advertising by others.”CMD is a non-profit consumer watchdog group that seeks to “protect consumers from deceptive, misleading, and deceptive acts and practices” that harm their economic and political well-being.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of CMD and the Center For Media Justice.
According to the suit, Fox News used a number of strategies to make it appear that its advertising was not misleading.
The network used a series of ads on its evening news shows to say that its programs were not “partisan,” and it also used its news programs to say, “the opinions expressed in this program are the views of the host, anchor, producer, editor, or reporter.”
Fox News has denied the allegations and has said that it has the right to do whatever it wants with its advertising and programming, including what it deems “political speech.”
In response to the allegations, the network has hired several advertising experts, including John Stelzer, a partner at Publicis Groupe, and a former CNN media consultant, and the network hired the firm of Gartner.
Stelzer and Gartners partner David Pfeiffer are also plaintiffs in the case.
Fox has also hired attorneys from New York-based Perkins Coie.
Fox News declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said that the company had been cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation.
“The allegations of false advertisement by Fox News are categorically untrue and without merit,” Fox News said in a statement.
“We are cooperating fully with the Department’s ongoing investigation.”
Fox also said that, “we have already made changes to our advertising practices in accordance with the law, and we intend to do so with our new partners.”