behavior or decisions about the product or service.
In addition, an act or practice is unfair if the injury it causes, or is likely to cause, is:
not outweighed by other
The FTC Act prohibits unfair or
deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers. A claim
can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if the claim implies something that's not true. For
example, a lease advertisement for an automobile that promotes "$0 Down" may be misleading if significant and
undisclosed charges are due at lease signing.
In addition, claims must be
substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. The type of evidence may
depend on the product, the claims, and what experts believe necessary. If your ad specifies a certain level of
support for a claim - "tests show X" - you must have at least that level of support.
Sellers are responsible for claims they make about their products and services. Third parties - such as advertising
agencies, website designers, and catalog marketers - also may be liable for making or disseminating deceptive
representations if they participate in the preparation or distribution of the advertising, or know about the
website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not
simply rely on an advertiser's assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency
should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency's participation in the preparation of the
challenged ad and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive