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What is deceptive advertising?

As you may already know, advertising is an important part of your business. Without getting the word out, your potential customers would have few ways of knowing about your products and services. They would also not be informed of any specials or sales without your advertising. Fortunately, the modern world gives you and other Florida business owners a wide range of creative advertising options, from television and radio commercials to ads on social media and mobile device aps. Your opportunities to reach a huge audience are almost limitless, but you should also understand that it can be easy to fall into the trap of deceptive advertising.

What does this mean? The Houston Chronicle states that deceptive advertising is a form of commercial marketing that deceives or violates the trust of consumers by giving false or misleading information about the price of a service or product. According to Federal Trade Commission law, you must be fully honest in your marketing about price, discounts, sales and markdowns.

One of the most common forms of deceptive marketing include the bait-and-switch – when a business advertises a product it does not intend to sell and tries to market a more expensive item or upsell the product at a higher price. Another false advertising tactic you might encounter is a company making a false claim about a product’s quality or origin – such as saying a product was made in the U.S. when it was actually made in China. An increasingly common form of deceptive marketing in today’s online market is when a company uses misleading website domains and false claims to make consumers think a product is being sold or endorsed by well-known and reputable companies or personalities.

False advertising can land you in a great deal of legal hot water, but fortunately it is rather simple to avoid, if you are careful and honest in your marketing. This information should not be substituted for legal advice.

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