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·         affect consumers' 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: 

·         substantial, 

·         not outweighed by other benefits, and 

·         not reasonably avoidable. 

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 deceptive claims. 

·         Advertising agencies or 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 claims. 

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