False Advertising

Help for Consumers Who Have Suffered from Deceptive Advertising Practices

Advocating our clients’ interests in the greater Washington, D.C. area

You, as a consumer, do not want to be misled by the false advertising of a product or service. There are laws in place at the state and federal level to protect consumers from false and misleading advertising claims, and there are penalties in place for those who violate the law.

The legal team at Paulson & Nace has been fighting for the rights and interests of our clients in and around Washington, D.C. for more than 40 years. We are here to shoulder the legal burden on your behalf so that you can focus on living your life.

False advertising practices

Have you ever opened up a jar of protein powder, only to find more than half the bag is filled with air? It is a good example of a deceptive trade practice because it makes consumers believe they are getting far more product than is contained in the jar.

Some of the other, more common forms of false advertising include:

  • Failure to disclose vital information
  • Applying hidden, unfair fees and penalties
  • Misleading labelling
  • Manipulation of descriptive terms
  • Using fillers and oversized packaging
  • Incomplete or inconsistent comparisons
  • Misleading images
  • Unfair competition
  • Bait and switch

If you make a purchase based on what you reasonably think a product is and then discover you have purchased something vastly different, then you may have been victimized by false advertising.

What are the penalties for false advertising?

In one of the largest fines levelled by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising, Sketchers was ordered to pay $40 million for making false claims about its “Shape Up” shoes that promised you could simply wear them and “get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” Private citizens may also have avenues to right these wrongs through the consumer protection statutes.

If you believe that you have fallen victim to false or misleading advertising claims there are a few actions you can take right away:

  • Contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline: (202)442-9828 or send an email to: protection@dc.gov. You will also find a consumer complaint form on the OAG’s website. Or;
  • Contact Paulson & Nace’s consumer protection attorney who will investigate your claim, report it to the Federal Trade Commission if appropriate, and take legal actions which could include:
    • Cease and desist orders
    • Civil remedies including statutory penalties
    • Full or partial refund of the purchase price of the product.
    • Corrective advertising to correct the misinformation in the deceptive ad including specific disclosures or give consumers additional information

Merchants have an obligation to their customers to give true and accurate descriptions of products. You consider the information in an advertisement in making a decision about whether or not to buy a product. You have the right to know the truth about the product on which you are spending your hard-earned cash. At Paulson & Nace, we fight on behalf of consumers who were duped into purchasing or using a product which caused them harm because of a manufacturer’s lies.

You do have rights if you have discovered false advertising

Schedule a no obligation case review with an experienced Washington, D.C. consumer protection attorney. Please contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC, by calling 202-463-1999 or filling out our contact form. We are proud to represent individuals and families throughout the area.