What is considered as false advertising?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2019 | Consumer Fraud

‘Tis the season for false advertising? That’s right! Black Friday is right around the corner. Year-end car sales will start being advertised on television, the radio, online and in the newspaper soon as well. The holiday season is just one time during the year during which consumers are vulnerable to falling victim to false advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires advertisers to do one thing, which is to be truthful to consumers. The federal agency expects any claims that a company makes about their products or services to be verifiable.

An advertiser must have the necessary evidence on hand to back up any claims that they make. Companies are prohibited from making any unverifiable or misleading claims simply to get a consumer to make a purchase.

Marketing efforts may be referred to as false advertising if they include distorted information. Any facts about the product’s safety, effectiveness or performance should be verifiable and accurate.

Items cannot be assigned safety claims such as “guaranteed safe and effective” or “doctor-approved” unless the product has actually been the subject of clinical research studies or professionally evaluated first.

Any claims that advertisers use must be both objective and verifiable. A claim that “nine out of 10 consumers like a product” may be considered as biased, something that the FTC likens to false advertising.

Advertisers shouldn’t make any claims that may imply that using a product carries with it certain benefits. Any use of such wording may be deemed as deceptive.

Each year, many consumers rush into stores on Black Friday to purchase something that was advertised as being on sale only to find out that it isn’t available. Many retailers claim to offer comparable deals as an alternative. Consumers often end up with inferior products though.

In other cases, consumers are enticed to a car dealership in hopes of qualifying for hassle-free financing on a new car. They often walk away from the lot without a car or something markedly different from what they went in for.

The poor choices that a marketer or advertiser makes don’t just affect you. Their misleading sales tactics instead affect the masses. This is why you should consult with a consumer fraud attorney in Vadnais Heights. Your lawyer can let you know about the various legal remedies that exist in Minnesota to hold unscrupulous advertisers accountable for their deceptive marketing practices.

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