False advertising is a deceptive and unethical marketing technique that aims to manipulate consumers into purchasing products or services based on misleading or exaggerated claims. In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, businesses often resort to these deceitful tactics to gain an edge over their rivals. Knowing the various types of false advertising techniques companies employ is essential as a consumer. This blog post will shed light on some common forms of false advertising and give you the knowledge to make informed decisions.
False Advertising Legislation
North Carolina’s General Statutes Chapter 75 protects consumers from deceptive practices such as unfair competition (monopolies) and false or misleading advertising. Section 75.1-1 prohibits unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive practices affecting commerce.
Examples of False Advertising
One prevalent form of false advertising is through misleading claims. Companies may make exaggerated statements about their products or services to entice consumers. For example, a skincare brand may claim that using their cream will miraculously erase all signs of aging overnight. However, the truth is that no skincare product can deliver such instant results. By understanding that these claims are often unrealistic and exaggerated, you can avoid falling victim to deceptive marketing practices.
Other common examples include:
- Misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, certification, accessories, characteristics, benefits, or quantities of a good or service.
- Representing goods as new or original when used, deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, or reclaimed.
- Making false claims about needing specific services, replacements, or repairs.
- Advertising goods or services with the intention of not selling them as advertised or not having enough in stock to meet reasonably expected demand.
- Reducing the number of miles indicated by disconnecting, turning back, or resetting a vehicle’s odometer.
- Selling fake items or services under the guise of being from another source, such as counterfeit goods, is prohibited.
- Representing goods or services as having sponsorship, approval, or certification.
False Advertising Lawsuits
The supplement industry is a common target of false advertising lawsuits. Vitamins and other dietary supplements are not regulated nearly as much as other health products, and their manufacturers rely on these lax regulations to market their products. Terms like “natural” and “organic” are used as marketing tools rather than as accurate descriptors of ingredients. A recent lawsuit against Nordic Naturals alleges just such behavior.
A consumer paid $20 for a bottle of Omega 3 Gummies with the understanding that the ingredients were all natural. However, Nordic Naturals uses several synthetic ingredients in their products. The company claims all ingredients are written on the package; thus, consumers have adequate information to make informed purchasing decisions. However, the courts found that the description of said ingredients was misleading.
Representation for False Advertising Claims
A consumer may file a civil lawsuit against a business for false or misleading advertising. To get started, an experienced attorney should evaluate your claim and determine the best path forward. If you believe you were the victim of false advertising or any other violation of consumer law, contact Maginnis Howard’s team of accomplished attorneys. We offer free case evaluations and take many cases on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay unless we win.
To speak with an intake specialist, call our Raleigh office at (919) 526-0450 or visit our contact page to submit a confidential inquiry. While we cannot accept every case, we do our best to connect each potential client with the appropriate resources.