An ad is deceptive when it omits any information or contains any wrong statement. As it is likely to mislead the customers who will be reacting reasonably under various circumstances and which will help the customer to analyze and decide whether to buy or use the product.
Advertisements or promotional messages are deceptive if they convey to consumers expressly or by implication that they’re independent, impartial, or from a source other than the sponsoring advertiser – in other words, that they’re something other than ads.
Use of misleading terms, such as “organic,” “natural,” or “light”; False claims of scientific support, or endorsement by scientific or medical authorities; Misleading illustrations or photographs; Use of coloring or other modifications to make a product appear to be of a different quality;
Deceptive advertising, or false advertising, is any type of advertising that is false, misleading, or has the effect of deceiving consumers. An ad can be deceptive in many aspects, including:
- Price of a product
- Quantity of a product
- The quality or standard of the item
- Times, dates, and locations that the product is available
- Information regarding warranties
- False facts regarding deals or sales
- Confusion over interest rates or other factors
Under state and federal laws, advertising may be considered deceptive even if the creator of the ad didn’t intend for it to be so. That is, a deceptive advertising claim can be raised even if the ad contained a mistake.
Some penalties and consequences for deceptive advertising include:
- Legal damages for losses caused to a consumer
- Refund or exchange of a product
- Public recall of a product (especially in cases where there is a defect with the product)
- Injunction to have the ad removed or replaced
- Civil fines
In many cases, these types of claims are handled and investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Special laws exist depending on the type of product or service being rendered. For instance, there are very specific laws that govern advertising for professionals such as doctors and lawyers.