Mar 30, 2013

Advertising Laws that Businesses Should Know to Stay Away from Lawsuits

Advertising is one of the most common ways businesses use to attract their customers to make a purchase. However, many times, businesses can go overboard with their advertising in order to get more and more customers to buy their product. While this may get you customers in the short term, it can lead to severe legal complications that can ruin your business. In order to protect consumers, the advertising laws have been made strict and are required to be followed accurately. If you want your business to stay away from unnecessary lawsuits, here are some advertising laws that you should remember:


Indulging in the practice of offering deceptive pricing to customers is one of the major advertising laws that can land companies in trouble. Claiming the usual stock price of a product as a special offer is considered to be deceptive. If your product is sold at $5 usually, you cannot make a claim saying ‘$5 for today only’.

Another common pricing misconception that can lead to legal complications is overvaluing bulk purchases. If your product sells at $10, you cannot make an advertising claim stating ‘2 for only $20’, since it makes the customers believe that the product is being offered at a lower price if more of it is purchased. In both cases, customers can file a lawsuit against the company if they find out that they were cheated.

If the company claims that incorrect prices were advertised in a campaign and wants to charge higher than those prices, they are not allowed to do so. If a certain price was advertised for a product, even as a result of a mistake, the company is held responsible for it and is eligible to sell the product at the advertised price to all their customers.


When making claims regarding the information of your product; including its features, functions and pricing, no misleading information should be provided. Any claim that is made by the company in an advertisement should be backed up by proof and facts. If the company is unable to provide the proof to back up its claims, they can get into legal complications. If there is a chance that the information can be taken negatively in any way, it is necessary for the company to issue a disclaimer along with it so that they can protect themselves from unnecessary legal complications.

Description / Representation

If descriptions or visual representations are used in an advertising campaign, they should not be misleading in any way. The pictures or the description used in the advertising campaign should be accurate representations of the actual product. This includes the size of the product as shown in the image, the right product features depicted in the description, and all other product aspects that are illicitly mentioned or can be perceived by the customers.


Using any advertising tactics that attract customers under false pretences is also wrong. One of the most commonly used practices is the bait and switch strategy, where companies advertise limited stocks of products at very low prices. When the customer comes to make a purchase, they are told that the product is out of stock and instead they are sold another product that is lesser in value. If the customers find out that they were cheated in that way, they have a right to file a lawsuit against the company for fraud.

Fraud lawyers specializing in business crimes can help you understand how you can save your business from using any illegal practice unknowingly. Before you design any form of communication material to interact with your customers, it is always better to get it reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that it will not result in any unnecessary legal consequences. 

Author’s Bio: Diyana Wilson is a practicing criminal lawyer, specializing in business crimes. Diyana frequently writes about various legal issues that people can face as a result of any unfortunate event, such as falling victim to fraudulent activity. Before you sign any business or personal documents, make sure to get them reviewed by a trusted attorney. For more information on fraudulent and other legal cases, visit this page.

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