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March 30, 2023

Advertising Compliance & Deceptive Ad Defense

Advertising Compliance & Deceptive Ad Defense

Advertising is a critical part of any business owner’s marketing strategy. Whether it is billboards, mailers, or digital media, ads are one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. However, business owners need to be careful about the words they use in advertisements. There is a growing volume of government action against companies for violating deceptive advertising rules.

What is a “Deceptive Ad”?

The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to protect consumers by preventing any deceptive and unfair practices. The FTC Act expressly prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising of any type. 

While the Act doesn’t define what a “deceptive ad” means, the Commission has determined that an ad is deceptive if it is likely to: 1) mislead consumers; and 2) affect the consumer’s decisions or behavior about the service or product being advertised. This requirement also extends to third parties such as advertising agencies who aid in the preparation or distribution of ad materials.

Growing FTC Investigation and Enforcement

The FTC has been steadily increasing efforts to crack down on deceptive advertising, particularly for online advertising. The agency recently fined a vitamin marketing company $600,000 for deceiving customers with supplemental reviews. The Commission also took action against Instant Brands, the manufacturer of Pyrex products for deceptively advertising that its products were made in America. 

Finally, the FTC’s Chief Technology Officer just announced the establishment of an Office of Technology within the agency that will provide technical expertise to the agency across a variety of consumer protection issues, including deceptive advertising.

Penalties For Deceptive Advertising

If the FTC determines that an ad is deceptive, it may issue an order to the company to cease and desist. If a business fails to remove the ad, the FTC can fine up to $50,000 per violation. Violating business may also be subject to civil penalties or even refunds to customers for damages in civil lawsuits.

PN Lawyers Advertising Legal Services

PN Lawyers has years of experience working with businesses of all types from established corporations to brand new startups. Whether you are running your first ever ad campaign or your 100th, we can review your ad materials to help guard against language that may be deemed deceptive. If the FTC has initiated an investigation, we can represent you throughout the process and defend against any claims.

Advertisement Compliance Review 

When it comes to designing and writing an ad campaign, it’s best not to guess whether your ad is in compliance with FTC rules and regulations. While the determination of whether an ad is deceptive is ultimately a subjective determination, PN Lawyers can help ensure that your advertising materials avoid common pitfalls that may attract FTC attention. 

Representation During FTC Investigations

If the FTC has initiated an investigation to determine whether one of your ads is or was deceptive, you need legal representation. FTC investigations can be long and complex. The Commission will likely ask for a variety of documents and conduct interviews during their investigation. Having an attorney in your corner can help keep the investigation on track and ensure that your interests are represented along the way. 

The experienced attorneys at PN Lawyers know how to manage the many stages of FTC investigation and will be there to walk you through the process.

Deceptive Advertising Lawsuit Defense

In some cases, the FTC may file a lawsuit against a business if they conclude that the business engaged in deceptive advertising. Fighting a government lawsuit can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. PN Lawyers has decades of litigation experience and can help you settle the lawsuit or take it all the way through the court system.

Trust PN Lawyers for Your Advertising Compliance Needs

The team at PN Lawyers are leading legal experts on business law. Our advertising lawyers have years of experience counseling businesses in all industries. Whether you are advertising goods, services, or anything else, we can help ensure that you are avoiding common mistakes in your advertising campaigns. If you find yourself the subject of an FTC investigation, call us right away to ensure that you have representation from the start. To get in touch with a deceptive ad lawyer today, call 212-213-8511.

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