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Company agrees to never run faux political campaign again

This sign in Phoenix appears to be for a political campaign, but it is really to advertise for a real estate company. In previous election years, a sign like this would have required it to be 51 percent political, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling took away the requirement. (Photo by Ben Giles/Arizona Capitol Times)

This sign in Phoenix appears to be for a political campaign, but it is really to advertise for a real estate company. 

Homie won’t be running for the U.S. Senate anymore.

The Utah-based real estate company, which made headlines with a guerilla marketing campaign that took advantage of an election season loophole to post “Vote For Homie” signs on street corners throughout metro Phoenix, has agreed to never duplicate the ad in future election cycles.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that the company went too far in its faux election campaign and improperly collected consumer data.

Brnovich and Homie CEO John Hanna filed an agreement in Maricopa County Superior Court on Nov. 16 stating that Homie would drop the act.

“Homie shall not advertise itself as a candidate for any office,” the filing states.

The agreement comes after Homie was contacted by the Attorney General’s Office in October. The ensuing investigation concluded that state attorneys believe Homie broke the law, though officially, Homie does not admit any wrongdoing or violation of state law under the agreement, a legal filing in Maricopa County Superior Court that’s called an “assurance of discontinuance.”

In October, the company made changes to its website to clarify that it was not a candidate for Senate, Brnovich spokesman Ryan Anderson said.

Now, Homie is also barred from using any data it collected through its “Homie for Senate” website, where visitors were asked to provide their personal information, including phones and email addresses, in exchange for t-shirts for the fake campaign. And all the data Homie collected must be deleted within 10 days of the court’s approval of the agreement.

There’s one exception to that provision: The data can still be used to deliver those promised “Homie for Senate” t-shirts.

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