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Advertising and Media Law

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Advertising and Media Law

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What is Advertising and Media Law?

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Advertising and media law exists to regulate how products or information can be advertised to consumers. Issues that fall into this category encompass elements such as trademarks, copyrights, false advertising, and more. This field of law also applies to the dissemination of accurate information to the public, specifically regarding services offered. The laws regarding how a product or service can be advertised can vary depending on the product or service itself, as well as the medium being used to market it. One of the biggest things to remember in advertising is that the truth is paramount. False advertising can lead to a slew of lawsuits, especially if someone was injured or made ill by a product that did not contain a proper warning or claimed to be able to do something it could not.

If you are considering marketing a product or service, or merging your business with another, it’s a good idea to contact a business attorney to discuss your options for advertising to ensure that you are following both state and federal regulations. The penalties for violating advertising and media law can be severe, so it’s important to put in the effort and seek knowledge from educated resources in order to do it right the first time.

Consumers who have suffered as a result of faulty advertising may file a claim with their local Better Business Bureau, harming current and future profits and even opening up a business to a lawsuit. Violators of advertising and media law might be given a cease and desist order with fines upwards of $10,000 per each violation. To ensure that your business is following proper FTC advertising procedure, contact a business attorney. Conversely, if you have suffered as a result of poor advertising, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.

Advertising and Media Laws are Governed by the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was founded in 1914 with the intended purpose to protect consumers and promote competition. These two main purposes make up the entirety of what advertising and media law is based on. To assess whether you might have a lawsuit or your product/service might be at risk of a lawsuit, it’s a good idea to research these purposes and what actions the FTC considers unacceptable in advertising and media.

Let’s go over the two primary purposes of the FTC:

  1. To protect consumers: The FTC’s goal in regard to consumer protection is to prevent unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. In this vein, the FTC conducts investigations, manages lawsuits, and continues to develop new and changing rules to educate both consumers and business owners regarding their rights and responsibilities. The FTC even collects complaints regarding data security and identity theft to report to law enforcement.
  2. To promote competition: The second goal of the FTC might be slightly unexpected, but exists to ensure that the American markets remain free and competitive, as this is generally agreed to be in the best interest of consumers and entrepreneurs alike. The FTC chooses to promote competition by championing low prices and high quality and choice of goods/services. This includes reviewing potential mergers which could result in a decrease in options and an increase in prices for consumers, ensuring that the market continues to be fueled by consumer preference rather than a lack of choices.

Sellers Are Liable for Any Claim Made About a Product or Service

If a seller makes a claim about their product or service which turns out not to be true, the seller could be liable for any damages which occur as a result. This is a frequent issue regarding defective products with improper labeling or warnings attached. Third parties might also be liable if they were responsible for contributing to the advertising of a product or service, such as third party marketing companies hired by a business to market their product. Even the way an advertisement is formatted is important. For example, even if the company includes a disclaimer regarding age of use of a product, but the disclaimer is too small or inconspicuous for the average person to easily notice and a child is injured as a result, the company and/or third party responsible for the marketing could still be liable for injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to poor or false advertising of a product or service, seek legal counsel. You might be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault business or third-party marketer and receive compensation for your damages. To protect your business from liability in advertising and media, reach out to a business attorney to ensure your current practices are following FTC standards.

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