Misleading advertising consists of any claims that are untruthful or deceptive and may give a consumer the wrong impression about a product they wish to purchase or use. It has the following types:
- Bait and switch advertising. It is illegal to promote a product that a company does not intend to sell or provide. Companies using such misleading advertising tactics as bait and switch will pull in consumers by promising to sell an item at a certain cost, when in fact they plan to sell something that is more costly.
- High-pressure sales tactics
- The use of deceptive form contracts
- Artificial inflation of prices
- Use of fine print to mislead consumers
- Failure to disclose when an offer expires
- False claims of offering wholesale or factory direct products misleadingly
- Deceptive non-disclosure, etc..
There are several penalties that may be brought against companies who run false or misleading advertising under federal and state consumer protection laws. The penalties may include ordering companies to stop engaging in deceptive practices, hefty fines, corrective advertising, disclosures, and more.
In case false or misleading advertising causes harm or injury to a consumer, civil penalties can be imposed to recover monetary damages. Under the Lanham Act, a consumer who brings a lawsuit against a company must prove that the advertisement was actually false or likely to mislead or confuse consumers. Evidence of consumer confusion is a requirement for obtaining recovery for damages.
If you or someone you know has been defrauded by false advertising, seek the help of an experienced dealer fraud attorney who can protect your legal rights and maximize your options.