University of Phoenix Agrees to Pay $50M and Cancel $141M in Student Debt Over False Ad Claims

The University of Phoenix and its parent company have agreed to pay $50 million in cash and cancel $141 million in student debt to settle allegations of deceptive advertisement brought by the Federal Trade Commission.

The deal, announced Tuesday, settles a dispute over an ad campaign the for-profit college unrolled in 2012 touting partnerships with companies including Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe. It suggested the school worked with those companies to create job opportunities for students, even though there was no such agreement, investigators found.

The Federal Trade Commission said the settlement is the largest the agency has ever obtained against a for-profit college.

“Students making important decisions about their education need the facts, not fantasy job opportunities that do not exist,” said Andrew Smith, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The University of Phoenix said in a statement that much of the dispute focused on a single ad campaign that ran from 2012 to 2014. It said it agreed to the deal “to avoid any further distraction from serving students.”

“The campaign occurred under prior ownership and concluded before the FTC’s inquiry began. We continue to believe the University acted appropriately,” the company said.

Apollo Education Group owns the University of Phoenix. The Arizona-based for-profit college chain has 55 campuses across the nation and teaches thousands of students through its online programs. It’s the nation’s largest recipient of GI Bill tuition benefits for military veterans.

Under the settlement, the University of Phoenix and Apollo will cancel all remaining debt for students who first enrolled between Oct. 1, 2012, and the end of 2016. Letters will be sent to borrowers saying they no longer owe payments to the school. The school is also barred from making false claims about its relationships with companies or employers.

The FTC says the $50 million payment will be used to help consumers who were misled by the ads.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the University of Phoenix created the 2012 ad campaign to distinguish itself from competitors as the chain’s enrollment was falling. After conducting market research, investigators found, the chain adopted an ad strategy tying the school to successful career outcomes. The campaign was called “Let’s Get To Work!”

In one TV ad that aired in 2012,

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P&G Releases Their 2019 Citizenship Report

They’re making a lot more than just soap.

P&G has released its 2019 Citizenship Report, which highlights the company’s efforts in what they term their “citizen priority areas” of diversity and inclusion, gender equality, community impact, and environmental sustainability.

There’s an impressive amount of material, beautifully presented as one would expect from the world’s biggest advertiser.

For the raceAhead crowd, there are three things to note right away:

They’re starting to think differently. The company established pilot programs for neurodiverse adults at their U.K., Boston, Costa Rica, and Cincinnati offices to better learn how to hire and develop employees on the autism spectrum.They went all-in on Pride. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, P&G became a Platinum sponsor for World Pride activities around the world. This included Manilla, Philippines, and marked the company’s first foray into Pride in Asia.They’re gunning for another Emmy. P&G has followed up on their Emmy Award-winning film “The Talk,” which showed Black mothers having “the talk” with their black children about their safety and beauty in a world defined by white values and fear, with “The Look.”

“The Look” is both a film and website designed to help anyone feel what it’s like to be a Black man in the U.S. P&G worked with Saturday Morning, a unique creative agency that makes digital campaigns designed to “shift perceptions” on pressing social issues like racial bias, injustice, immigration, and environmental sustainability. In an extraordinarily quiet way, “The Look” explores the kinds of implicit biases that are baked into everyday life—being Black while shopping, parenting, swimming, working. Each vignette, inspired by historical events, draws a line from segregation to today.

It is the rare sequel that fully delivers, including a deeply satisfying twist at the end. Enjoy.

In other news, I’m currently on site in Laguna Niguel, Calif., where I’m joining the entire Fortune MPW/Broadsheet team for the Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, which kicks off later today.

Check out the entire line-up here—it’s an embarrassment of riches from Microsoft U.S. president Kate Johnson, Ankiti Bose of Zilingo (about to be India’s first female-founded unicorn startup), to runner and equity champion runner Alysia Montaño, and in

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