Most people believe that if a company is advertising a product for sale, that the company’s representations are truthful. However, this is not always the case and consumers can be harmed by fraudulent advertising and marketing.
Fraudulent advertising is against the law. It is the practice of making false or misleading claims so that a consumer will purchase a product.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees and enforces truth in advertising regulations to ensure that consumers are not taken advantage of or defrauded. According to the FTC, whenever consumers see an advertisement, it must be truthful and not misleading. This applies whether the advertisement is on television, the radio or on the internet.
If a company violates these regulations, the FTC may send them a letter about the consequences they can face if they continue the advertising.
Fraudulent advertising and marketing often occur through the internet. The internet can be used to send misleading emails, text messages, to post misleading claims on social media sites and to post false online advertisements. It’s often used for this purpose because it is cost-effective and can reach large numbers of people at once.
Bait and switch occurs when a physical store advertises an item at a discount, but actually does not have that item for sale or has very few of them to sell. Then, because the customer is already in the store, he or she may buy a similar item at a higher price.
If a consumer would like to file a claim, an experienced consumer protection attorney can help.