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Consumer law in California protects hardworking, everyday people from corporate greed – but even with these protections in place, some corporations take advantage of consumers like you.

False advertising is when a company communicates deceptive or untruthful information about a product or service they offer. 

The businesses that do this often expect to maximize profits but it’s not fair and it comes at the expense of the consumer. At the Consumer & Employment Law Group, we make it our job to fight against businesses falsely advertising to people.

What is false advertising according to California law?

Fortunately, California has many consumer protection laws to protect you from lying businesses. The California Business and Professions Code specifically says false advertising is prohibited.

False advertising can be in any form of media or communication, including:

  • Print publications
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Websites
  • Social media posts
  • In-person solicitations

False advertising can happen anywhere, at any scale, so it’s hard for consumers to verify every claim they see or hassle with companies for every purchase made.

Examples of false advertising

What can false advertising look like exactly?

Here are a number of examples:

  • Deceptive advertising
    • A store advertising a going-out-of-business sale when they are not actually closing 
    • A pharmaceutical company advertises a product without listing all the possible side effects
  • Misleading claims or comparisons
    • Although a best hot dogs in town ad is subjective and not illegal, a restaurant creating a false Best Hotdogs Award is fraudulent
    • A retail store with false ‘Compare at’ prices on a discounted or clearance item
  • Unsubstantiated claims
    • A makeup company advertises that a product is “clinically proven” to have certain benefits, when in fact they did not perform any clinical tests
    • A store claims an item is biodegradable or environmentally friendly but doesn’t explain how or comes up with misleading definitions
  • Bait-and-switch tactics
    • An ad with an item at a low price in order to entice customers is not honored at all once at the store.

What are the consequences for false advertising in California?

Victims of false or misleading advertising can seek justice through lawsuits, and often false advertising claims become class action suits that allow multiple consumers to join forces.

A false advertising lawsuit against a company would need to prove only 3 things:

  • The company lied about a material fact;
  • You, as the consumer, purchased the product or services based on this lie; and
  • You suffered financial harm as a result

But what if the business denies they falsely advertised?

There are some common defenses that may be good to know as you gather evidence.

  • They might say the ad was really truthful or a genuine mistake
  • They might say the public was not deceived
  • They could also say they had no idea it wasn’t true

None of these possible defenses should discourage you from building your case. The best way to know if a company has deceived you with false advertising is to consult with our team of attorneys. 

There are so many examples of misleading business tactics, sometimes they even seem so small. But it’s important to trust your gut that something may be wrong. It could be that you are one of thousands being misled, all for the bottom line of a greedy company.

Contact our dedicated attorneys at the Consumer & Employment Law Group

We are a passionate, experienced team that fights hard for the people throughout California and the U.S. Don’t let corporations and businesses take advantage of you for the sake of their bottom line.

If you have been affected by false advertising, contact Consumer & Employment Law Group now for a consultation. Our trustworthy and hardworking team is your advocate against corporate greed.