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Smart advertising practices to avoid a deceptive trade claim

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2015 | Business Litigation

Any business in Florida must abide by federal and state laws when advertising products and services. The Federal Trade Commission plays one of the largest roles in protecting consumers across the country. Generally, the agency suggests that anyone looking to avoid deceptive trade practices should ensure that their marketing does not mislead customers. Whenever possible, scientific evidence should support any claims made.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection offers several tips for businesses to stay in line with federal guidelines. A commitment to the following tasks offers additional protection from lawsuits:

  •        Any pictures displayed should be of the model of the product for sale, not a previous model.
  •        Get permission for anything that quotes copyrighted work or uses a person’s picture or endorsement.
  •        Marketing a product by comparing it to a competitor’s should always be double-checked for total accuracy.
  •        Only talk about what the product can actually do instead of using hypotheticals or exaggerations.

Simply describing a sale at a business can get companies into trouble if the marketing is not handled properly. For example, when a store advertises a product at a discounted rate through a certain date, the product must not be sold at that price past that date.

According to the Florida Office of the Attorney General, civil cases involving items such as unfair competition and deceptive practices have generated more than $10 billion in recoveries since 2011. Whenever a business is launching an advertising campaign, it is imperative to ensure that the marketing does not violate state or federal laws. Getting a sense of the rules and professional insight can help a company avoid a costly lawsuit.