The controversial promotional techniques used by Publishers Clearing House to obtain magazine subscriptions yesterday led to an out-of-court settlement with the attorneys-general of twenty-four states.

PCH agreed to pay a total of $18.5 billion to the complainants as compensation to those consumers who had spent over $2,500 on magazines during the last three years, or to fund consumer education campaigns. It also agreed to curb some of the claims made in its advertising and direct mail solicitations.

The subscription sales organisation insists that it had awarded prizes exactly in line with promises made in its ads and mailings, and that these “had always been clear to our many customers”. It had settled only to avoid the costs of lengthy litigation.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline