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Avoiding False Advertising

Running a business can be difficult and the issues can become complex. In the fog of all the decisions you have to make on a daily basis, small mistakes, such as approving an advertisement, can come with big consequences. In this article, we will discuss what deceptive claims are and how your business can avoid any advertisements that could be classified as false. For further ideas on how to protect your business from fraud lawsuits and how to handle lawsuits that do arise, you should talk to an experienced West Palm Beach attorney today.

What Is False Advertising?

False advertising refers to false, misleading, or deceptive claims regarding a product’s price, quality, or purpose. False advertising specifically applies to any published claim that is considered deceptive or untruthful.

There are also different types of false advertising tactics that you should evaluate your advertisements for.

  1. High Pressure Tactics. You are problematically applying high pressure sales tactics to a customer when you are relentlessly pushing them to buy a service or product that they do not want or intend to purchase.
  2. Deceptive Contracts. When signing a contract with a customer, ensure that your agreement is clear and does contain unclear promises or important provisions in the fine print that you know are likely to be overlooked by a customer.
  3. Bait and Switch Techniques. This technique refers to the advertising of a product that you do not actually intend to sell. When you pull a bait and switch technique, you entice a customer with a promise to sell an item or provide a certain service at one price only to push a more costly option on them instead when they enter the store.
  4. Artificial Price Inflation. When you give a customer the illusion that they are getting a great deal on a product by inflating the price far above its value, you are artificially inflating the price.
  5. Failure To Disclose. You could run into trouble when you fail to disclose to customers that a product or service is no longer available or when an offer expires.

What Can I Be Sued For?

One of the major issues a business may see with false advertising is the amount of damages a consumer could sue for. Ultimately, a customer could also sue for:

  1. Injunctions. The term injunction refers to an order from the court to stop doing something. The most common injunctions that a customer may request from the court include the following:
    1. an injunction for your business to stop utilizing the advertisement in question;
    2. an injunction for your business to stop utilizing the improper and deceptive tactics in question; or
    3. an injunction for your business to utilize disclosure statements in advertising.
  2. Damages. A consumer can also sue for their monetary damages from purchasing the good or service in question.

While it may be impossible to be perfect, there is so much you can do to protect your business from various claims, including false advertising claims. Although we have provided some information regarding false advertising claims and how to avoid them, you may also need help defending your business in a lawsuit. If you own a business in Florida, the West Palm Beach attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP are able to help you. Contact us immediately for a consultation on your case.

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