When can sales promotions be perceived as deceptive?

You were likely tempted by numerous sales this winter holiday season that just wrapped up. While you may be good at deciding between wants versus needs, there are plenty of other individuals that haven’t yet mastered making such decisions. Many advertisers invest significant time and resources in trying to figure out what language they can use in marketing materials to get you to make a purchase. This often results in them engaging in deceptive advertising techniques.

Advertisers spend significant time learning about psychology. They learn what colors, pricing schemes and wording may motivate buyers to make a purchase. Marketers know that you’re unlikely to purchase an item if you perceive it to be sold at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. They know that you’re likely to have a harder time walking away from it if it’s listed as being sold for a percentage off or on a limited-time sale. This is why you’ll see signs advertising discounts on just about everything at some stores.

Customers tend to respond and make a purchase when a deal seems like an exclusive, limited quantity or time-restricted one. The use of this type of language can border on being manipulative though.

While it may be okay for an advertiser to mention clinical studies for a product to convince a consumer to want to buy it, if they mischaracterize the information or results, then this may be considered as deceptive. If a marketer advertises that a product can do something that it’s been shown that it’s not capable of doing, then that’s deception. It’s both unethical and unlawful to engage in such behaviors.

Customers may be able to sue advertisers or retailers who intentionally mislead them about the benefits a product offers. An attorney in Vadnais Heights can let you know about this and other legal remedies that you may be able to pursue in your Minnesota case if you’ve been deceived.