new york | new jersey False or misleading Advertising lawyers
False or misleading advertising consists of any published claim that either untruthful, fraudulent, or deceptive in some manner. Consumers rely on advertising and marketing in order to make purchasing decisions, and when a consumer receives false or misleading information by companies regarding their product or service, this may result in a consumer’s financial loss or other damages to the consumer.
Federal and State Law
There are several federal and state laws that exist in order to protect consumers from false and misleading advertising. In fact, no business or company may make any false or misleading claims regarding the price, quality, or purpose of a product. If a consumer relies on incorrect advertising and suffers injury or losses, they have the legal right to file a claim for justice as well as receive compensation for those injuries or losses.
New Jersey law includes protections against any advertising that seeks to mislead consumers or that includes false information, fake promises, or otherwise leads consumers to believe something that is not true. The Schmierer Law Group can seek damages that include monetary compensation for the money you spent due to the advertising and an injunction to prevent the seller from continuing the practices.
The state Consumer Fraud Act also provides protection against false advertising with specific rules for certain industries. In general, it prohibits any type of fraud that leads a consumer to believe something incorrect or untrue about the about the sale of an item or service.
At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission handles most of the advertising and marketing regulations. Your lawyer may use the Federal Trade Commission Act in fighting your case.
The Federal Trade Commission Act defines deceptive as something that could confuse consumers or make them believe something that is not true. It also must affect their buying behaviors. To prove something is deceptive and unfair, your attorney must show you could not reasonably avoid it, other benefits do not offset your loss, and you suffered a substantial loss due to the false advertising scheme. All FTC laws apply to advertising in any form, including television, radio, and internet.
Truth in advertising is part of the regulations of the FTC. It requires all advertisements to be truthful and bans them from including anything that could be misleading. For some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, it specifies some claims must have the backing of scientific evidence if a company wants to use them in its marketing materials.
Any claims a company makes, even those that may not be scientific in nature, must have proof to back them up. Companies must have this information on hand and accessible to offer as evidence of the truth of a claim.
Examples of False or Misleading Advertising
You may be hesitant to approach an attorney about a false advertising claim because you are not sure it is breaking any law. The focus on any advertisement is to entice you and make you want to buy the product or service. To do this requires some finesse and creativity on the part of the company, and that often means some exaggeration.
There is a fine line between exaggerating a claim and making one that is outright deceptive. A claim becomes illegal when it makes you believe something that is not true.
For example, if a company markets its fruit as being organic when it does not have the proper qualities or rights under the law to carry that label, then this is deception. However, if the company says its fruit is the best on the market, this is an exaggeration and not a crime.
Another type of deception is misrepresenting the price. A company cannot advertise that its product sells for $100 without disclosing that on top of that you will pay fees and surcharges that make what you actually pay closer to $300.
False or misleading advertising can appear in many ways, including the following:
- Misrepresenting products with respect to the characteristics or qualities they have or simply not performing in the way advertised or marketed
- Misrepresenting services with respect to the actual services or results provided
- False or misleading contracts that include intentionally ambiguous terms that can easily be interpreted against a consumer or include unconscionable clauses
- False or misleading pricing, which would involve deceptive pricing such as offering a product at a sale price but then charging a higher price at a later time, or using false or fabricated prices of other products to make it appear that the product in question is much less expensive (also known as artificially inflating pricing)
- Failure to disclose information regarding a product or service
- High-pressure sales tactics with false or misleading information
Other types of deception include using unfair comparisons, offering a warranty that does not include a remedy, or using misleading weight measurements. The Schmierer Law Group can help you to see if your situation steps over the line and breaks the law.
Remedies Available for Consumers
Consumers that suffer injuries, harm, or losses as a result of false or misleading advertising may have the legal ability to file a claim for compensation for their losses, a court order preventing the company from continuing to run false or misleading advertising, or court order requiring the business to include a disclosure statement. In some cases, a consumer will not have substantial financial losses; however, if there are enough consumers who suffered similar losses, it is possible to initiate a class-action lawsuit against a business or company. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you determine what kind of legal action would help ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
Learn How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You
False and misleading advertising violates both federal and state law, and businesses should receive punishments and penalties for their decisions to mislead and fraudulently manipulate consumers. If you feel you suffered injuries or losses as a result of false or misleading advertising, attorneys at the Schmierer Law Group can answer your questions related to your experience involving false and misleading advertising and help you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today!