Consumer False Advertising Class Action Lawsuits
Under California false advertising laws, companies are prohibited from using deceptive advertising in connection with the sale or dissemination of goods. Companies are allowed to use “puffery” to make somewhat inflated claims about their products, but they are prohibited from using language that is designed to confuse or misinform consumers.
A company that uses false advertising to sell products is engaging in deceptive business practices in violation of California law. Consumers who have been duped into purchasing products based on false advertising may be able to get their money back and force the company to discontinue its deceptive practices by filing a false advertising class action lawsuit.
Deceptive Advertising Definition and Examples
Deceptive or false advertising refers to a company’s use of false, misleading or confusing statements when promoting a product or service. These types of misstatements violate consumer protection laws, which prohibit companies from engaging in unfair business practices in order to outsell their competitors.
Deceptive Advertising. Deceptive advertising can include fake sales, false environmental claims, quality deceptions, and bait and switch tactics. Fake sales are a form of deceptive pricing in which a business advertises a “sale” that does not actually provide any discount for consumers. For example, a store may artificially inflate the original price listed on a price tag in order to give consumers the impression they are receiving a discount. Other stores continuously list certain products as if they are at a discounted price, but never offer the item at the so-called “original” price so that the “sale” price is the true price of the item.
Misleading Claims. Some companies attempt to take advantage of consumers’ growing passion for environmental issues and will make misleading claims about the eco-friendliness of their products. If a company uses terms like “biodegradable,” “compostable” or “recycled” to promote their products, they must be able to back up these claims with reliable scientific evidence.
Unsubstantiated Claims. Advertisers are also prohibited from making unsubstantiated statements or claims about the quality or the origin of a product. Some companies seek to capitalize on consumers’ desire for American-made products by deceptively including a “Made in the USA” label when the products are actually made in a foreign country.
Bait and Switch. In a bait and switch scenario, an advertiser will offer an item at a low price in order to entice customers, but without intending to sell the item (or intending to sell it at a higher price). According to the Federal Trade Commission, this type of advertising is illegal if “the first contact or interview is secured by deception.”
California False Advertising Laws
Consumer protection laws are designed to prevent companies from tricking consumers with false, deceptive, or misleading claims about their products. As a consumer, you have certain rights that protect you from companies seeking to take advantage of you.
California offers some of the strongest consumer protection laws in the United States. These false advertising laws impose penalties on businesses that engage in deceptive advertising or other unfair business practices. In California, businesses are prohibited from engaging in any type of deceptive advertising that causes competitors to suffer a loss in revenue. Companies are also prohibited from advertising products in a manner that is false, misleading, or deceptive.
A company that is found to have violated California false advertising laws may be subject to steep financial penalties. It will also be forced to change the allegedly deceptive labels, and a judge may order the company to engage in a corrective advertising campaign.
Consumers who were duped by false advertising may be eligible to file a deceptive marketing class action lawsuit and seek compensation on behalf of other consumers who purchased the product. If a court rules in favor of the plaintiff, or if the company decides to settle the class action lawsuit, consumers may receive a cash payment or other benefits from the settlement.
Thinking of Filing a California False Advertising Lawsuit?
If you relied on an advertisement when making a purchase and the product or service was not as promised, you may have a legal claim for false or deceptive advertising. Contact Bradley/Grombacher, a California consumer law firm, today to learn about your legal options. You may even be eligible to file a California class action lawsuit and obtain compensation for your losses.
Class action lawsuits are an effective way to fight against California consumer fraud. Class action lawsuits not only help you get your money back, they also help hold companies accountable for their deceptive and misleading claims. Call Bradley/Grombacher today at 1 (805) 270-7100 or fill out the form on this page now for a FREE consultation.