Two Ways Corporations Falsely Advertise Products Legally

The laws are fairly strict when it comes to false advertising. The Federal Trade Commission has been known to swiftly crack down on companies caught making false claims about their products. Unfortunately, some companies have found ways to get around false advertising restriction, and consumers must pay careful attention to avoid being defrauded out of their money. Here are two ways some corporations legally falsely advertise their products and what you can do about it.

Word Manipulation

One way some companies falsely advertise is by manipulating terms that have meaning in the public consciousness but are not legally defined to apply to products and services that may not meet the common definition of the term. For instance, for awhile, some companies were abusing the word "organic" to intimate their food products were made with ingredients that weren't grown or manufactured using conventional methods (e.g. using pesticides on vegetables).

An example of this is a company that included the word organic as part of the product's name, which may lead some consumers to believe the product was made using organic ingredients. However, the labeling was misleading because many of the ingredients were allegedly not, in fact, organic.

The law formally defined what "organic" means in 1990, and any company using the word improperly may face legal consequences. However, the same is not true for many other words in popular use such as "light" (e.g. light butter) and "natural". To ensure you are really getting what you're paying for, look at the ingredients list printed on the packaging to learn what the product is really made of. You can also use the Internet to conduct research into the company to determine if its products are the real deal.

Angel Dusting

Another questionable thing some companies do to legally make claims about their products that aren't really true is to include miniscule amounts of an ingredient to a food or to add token services to a menu of offerings just to say the company or product provides a certain benefit. For example, one soda company is currently being sued because its pomegranate-juice product only contains half a percent of pomegranate and blueberry juice combined, even though those two ingredients are prominently displayed on the packaging, intimating they make up a larger portion of the juice.

The only way to see through this ruse is to do some detective work. Read the label on food products. Ingredients are listed from most to least in volume. If an ingredient is prominently displayed on the front of product, but it shows up next to last on a long list, it's likely there isn't as much of that ingredient in the product as you're assuming. In the service sector, read the fine print of any contracts before signing them and ask questions about the service to determine if it's a real offering or something the company has no intention of actually following through with providing.

For more information on false advertising or to file a lawsuit against a company that has violated advertising laws, contact a personal injury lawyer, such as Owen Law Firm.