Deceptive advertising is the promotion of false and unrealistic facts or visual content about a product. Businesses employ deceptive advertising to market products using descriptions that are not true to the way the product actually looks or works. This causes customers to buy things that are truly fake, flawed, or even hazardous. Claims that appear or sound too good to be true should be avoided by consumers.
To reduce the risk of damage, it’s critical to be informed about health alerts, safety alerts, product notifications, and recalls pertaining to the items you frequently use.
Types Of Deceptive Advertising
- Unsubstantiated Claims: this is when a business says that a product performs a certain way that it actually does not, or brings an untrue benefit to consumers.
- Comparison Inconsistencies: these refer to situations when a business says their product is comparable to brand-name products without sufficient evidence.
- Bait-And-Switch Tactics: this is when a business markets a product they do not truly intend to deliver in terms of quality/function. The business will most likely deliver a product that is of much lower quality than advertised to consumers.
- Green Or Eco-Friendly Terms: Businesses advertise their products as environmentally friendly or green despite knowing that goods are not produced under eco-friendly guidelines.
- Made In The U.S.A.: Nigerians are more likely to purchase products made in another country. Manufacturers will falsely claim their product is made in the United States.
EXAMPLE DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING
RICE KRISPIES DON’T BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM.
Back in 2010, Cereal maker Kellogg claimed that Rice Krispies had “immune-boosting properties,” allegedly because of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that the breakfast cereal was fortified with. The claims were dubious, at best; the Federal Trade Commission ordered Kellogg to halt any and all advertising making reference to these effects.
The front of the Rice Krispies box read “now helps support your child’s immunity,” with “25 percent Daily Value of Antioxidants and Nutrients – Vitamins A, B, C, and E.” And on the back, the company trumpeted that the cereal “has been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy.”
This led to an investigation into these claims by the Federal Trade Commission, which for the second time in a year has stepped in to curb allegedly unsubstantiated, misleading health claims by Kellogg
This time the FTC shut down Kellogg’s marketing restricting them “from making claims about any health benefit of any food unless the claims are backed by scientific evidence and not misleading.
When the case was settled in 2011, Kellogg agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine to affected customers and donate $2.5 million of Kellogg products to charity.