Every company with a product or service to sell must advertise, and a competitive market can lead to a variety of questionable tactics. Most advertising exaggerates some aspect of a company’s product or service, such as labeling it “The Best in the World,” but some may enter into the illegal territory.
State and federal consumer protection laws typically ban claims that are outright misleading or inaccurate, especially if they potentially affect consumers or other companies.
You do not want to be misled by fraudulent advertising of a product or service as a consumer. Fortunately, there are regulations in place to protect consumers against false and misleading advertising, and those who break the law face penalties.
Common False Advertising Practices
Have you ever opened a honey jar only to discover that more than half of it is empty? This deceptive commercial practice gives the impression that the container contains significantly more products than it actually does.
Other common forms of false and misleading advertising include the following:
- Failure to disclose vital information
- Applying hidden, unfair fees and penalties
- Misleading labeling
- Manipulation of descriptive terms
- Using fillers and oversized packaging
- Incomplete or inconsistent comparisons
- Misleading images
- Unfair competition
- Bait and switch
You may have been a victim of deceptive advertising if you buy something based on what you reasonably believe a product is and end up discovering that you have bought the wrong product.
Penalties for False Advertising
The famous sports shoe brand, Sketchers was fined $40 million by the Federal Trade Commission for making deceptive promises about their “Shape Up” sneakers, which promised you could “get in shape without setting foot in a gym” by merely wearing them. Consumer protection statutes may also provide options for private persons to correct these wrongs.
If you suspect you have been the victim of fraudulent or misleading advertising claims, you should take the following steps straight away:
- Reach out to the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline: (202)442-9828. You can also send the office an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you will find a consumer complaint form available online on the OAG’s website.
- Contact Dsouza and Strachan Law Group consumer protection attorney who will investigate your claim. These experienced lawyers will report your claim to the Federal Trade Commission if they find it reasonable. Following that, the attorney will take legal actions, which could be:
- Cease and desist orders
- Full/partial refund of the product’s purchase cost
- Civil solutions such as statutory penalties
- Corrective advertising is needed for the correction of the misinformation in the deceptive ad. This mainly includes specific disclosures or gives consumers extra useful information about the product.
Merchants owe it to their customers to provide genuine and accurate product descriptions. When deciding whether or not to buy a product, you examine the information in advertising.
You have a right to know the truth about the thing you’re about to spend your hard-earned money on. We fight for consumers who have been deceived into buying or using a product that has led to any harm due to a manufacturer’s deception.
Contact a Consumer Protection Lawyer
If you’re really confident and sure about your false advertising claim, it’s best to contact a consumer protection attorney. These professionals understand the laws and regulations. They know what to do next once you have filed a lawsuit against a false advertisement.
So, schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney. They know all your rights in case of false advertising events. As a result, they save you from hassles while offering the best course of action to take.