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Common examples of misleading advertising

In order to gain a competitive advantage, brands must be able to excite and attract their customers through lucrative campaigns. However, occasionally this gets taken too far. When brands exaggerate the benefits of their product or just outright lie about their brand's attributes, then it is likely that they are breaking the law by engaging in false advertising. The following are some examples of brands that have been caught out by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Sears Holdings started to advertise a line of textiles with the promise of "100 percent pure bamboo" in all of their materials. While bamboo was present in the products, it also had rayon present in the material, making it not only impure, but toxic, too. They were subject to a settlement of $475,000.

In a similar attempt to appear to be manufacturing pure products, Kellogg tried to claim that eating their frosted cereal would result in an almost 20 percent increase in attentiveness. This claim resulted in a class action lawsuit, where misled customers could be reimbursed due to the false claim.

A company owned by Kellogg also suffered a similar lawsuit. They advertised their product as "all natural" and claimed that their product contained "nothing artificial" which was in fact far from the truth, since it contains pyridoxine hydrochloride and other artificial ingredients.

There are many brands that are being exposed for engaging in false advertising and lying about their products. While many brands are already subject to class action lawsuits, it is important to raise any concerns that you may have about other products that you believe are being falsely advertised.

Source: Time, "9 of the Most Totally Misleading Product Claims," Thomas C. Frohlich and Vince Calio, accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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