4 ways businesses put themselves at risk for false advertisement suits  

Although some seem to believe it to be a minor infraction, false advertisement lawsuits can be as time-consuming and costly as any other lawsuit. Moreover, no matter the circumstances, when dealing with the court system, losing is always a possibility. Rather than putting your company at risk by making the same mistakes as many other business owners, take heed to the 4 following ways businesses put themselves at risk for false advertisement lawsuits.

Bait and Switch

A common yet fraudulent method of advertising, “bait and switch” refers to the act of advertising a cheaper good or service, only to switch it for something more expensive once you have the prospective buyer’s attention. However, this method of advertising is considered a deceptive practice. While sales and discounted items are a great way to lure in new customers, just keep in mind that you must actually have the item that you advertised available for sale as well. If it can be proven that you never intended to sell the product for the amount advertised, you could be on the hook for millions via a false advertisement lawsuit.

Manipulation of Terms

On another note, while it seems fairly common for business owners to embellish on the capabilities of their goods and services, this is to be done very carefully. While there is not necessarily a way to prove whether something is “the best” or “tough acting”, bolder claims are a different story. For instance, while most people would take the phrase “it gives you wings” as a metaphor, Red Bull lost a lawsuit to the tune of $14 million, for making this very same claim. Be sure that your descriptions and claims can be backed by facts as your products just might be called to task.

Misleading Illustrations

Yes, that portion of steak you are selling will look great if you enlarge it for the ad. However, just keep in mind that if you fail to caption it with something like “not actual portion size”, this could also be considered deceptive. While the average patron is well aware of the fact that they won’t be walking into your establishment to purchase a life-sized steak, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the entire bunch. Be sure to make sure everything in your ad is represented properly or you could end up paying for it in the end.

Inconsistent Comparisons

If you plan to make the claim that your product is “better” than another product, be sure you can back it up with facts. Since many consumers base their shopping choices on claims such as these, claiming that your product is superior to others comes with a heavy responsibility. Moreover, given that “better” is often a relative term, you could lose even if the claim is true. Unless you are 100% sure your product is the absolute best, it’s just better not to tempt people by making the comparison, to begin with.

Overall, participating in deceptive practices, such as false advertisement, could cause you to get sued. However, by taking heed to this list, you will improve your chances of avoiding these lawsuits altogether.

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