False Advertising: Definition and Meaning

Advertisement is a method or channel of communicating information about one's product or service in a market. The purpose of advertising is to circulate a product or service or introduce a newly introduced product or service to the market. Consumerism is a growing culture in today's business world, and commercials play an important part in this system.

Advertisement is just a method of informing the general public about the seller's goods, service, or concept that is currently on the market. Such advertising encourages the consumer or the general public to purchase the product, service, or concept.

What is False Advertising?

When deciding if advertising is deceptive, one should evaluate not just assertions expressed by statement, word, design, gadget, sound, or any combination of these. In addition, the degree to which the advertisement is deceptive, misleading, or untrue should be considered.

Advertising a job opportunity may be construed as misleading if it fails to reveal when a job is available, whether the pay is salary or commission, and whether or not a prospective employee will be required to pay out-of-pocket costs up front, perhaps for a uniform, as a condition of being accepted for a position.

Advertisement is a way for a manufacturer or seller to inform consumers about the nature, quality, and features of a specific product or service that they offer or provide in the market. However, instead of just providing information on the product, it may sometimes engage in disinformation by deceiving the consumer about the product, service, or idea being given.

A trademark is one of the most important things a company can use to differentiate itself from the hundreds of other rivals in the market. Consumers learn to recognize and trust a firm through its trademarks, whether they be a symbol, design, or expression. When a competitor jeopardizes your goodwill or brand by making false statements or utilizing deceptive advertising, taking legal action with the assistance of an attorney can give you the rapid resolution you require.

What does an advertisement become False?

The goal or motive of advertising is to transmit all of the information about a certain product that is now on the market or has recently been placed on the market.

A misleading advertisement is one that misleads the consumer by misrepresenting its products or services and making inaccurate assertions about them.

Legal Remedies for False Advertising

Following are the major legal remedies for false advertising −

  • Injunctive Relief − An injunctive remedy is awarded by the courts if two conditions are met. To begin, a plaintiff must show a "likelihood of deception or misunderstanding on the part of the buying public as a result of a product's inaccurate or misleading description or advertisement." Second, a plaintiff must show that "irreparable injury" was done, even if that loss involves a decline in sales that cannot be entirely traced to a defendant's deceptive advertising.

  • Corrective Advertising − Corrective advertising can be governed in two ways. The court can first and most usually order a defendant to undertake a corrective advertising campaign and make an affirmative, rectifying statement in that campaign. Second, the courts can award monetary damages to a plaintiff in order for the plaintiff to execute a corrective advertising campaign in response to the defendant's fraudulent marketing.

How to Protect Oneself from False Advertisement?

Following are a few techniques that can help you to protect from a false advertisement −

  • Research the product or service before making a purchase. To do this, you can take a look of reviews from independent sources, such as consumer organizations or publications, to get an unbiased opinion.

  • Be wary of advertisements that make unrealistic or extraordinary claims. If something seems or sounds fussy or highly promising, do not trust it blindly. For example, cream that can make you fair or white in four weeks, oil or medicine that can grow your lost hair in three months, etc.

  • Pay attention to the fine print. Terms and conditions or disclaimers may contain important information that contradicts the main message of the advertisement.

  • Report any false or misleading advertising to the appropriate authorities.

If you have been a victim of false advertising, seek legal advice. In some cases, you may be entitled to a refund or compensation.


For false advertising claims, a plaintiff must present documentation from the defendants proving the false or misleading assertions about his goods or services. A plaintiff must also demonstrate that the deceit is likely to impact purchase decisions. To file a lawsuit against an advertisement, a plaintiff does not need to demonstrate actual harm.

The current tiling oversight method is no longer enough to adequately regulate the advertising business because of the growing impact of advertising in our society and the rapidly shifting industry trends. Consumers are becoming more vulnerable as a result of advertising on billboards and subtle Instagram postings. Traditional advertising difficulties, such as misleading pricing, false viewpoints, labelling issues, and so on, have now been added to the list of current issues. Because of the rising hazards connected with advertising, it is critical for consumers to understand what they can and cannot do.


Q1. Is false advertising ethical?

Ans. False advertisement, or the use of misleading and incorrect information to promote a consumer product, is an unethical marketing strategy that has been used to deceive customers since the inception of the consumer commerce industry.

Q2. Is false advertising a crime?

Ans. False advertising is a punishable offense. It is unlawful for any type or size of business—a solopreneur, a small business, a major corporation, or a non-profit—to knowingly print an ad that is fraudulent or contains incorrect, misleading, or otherwise deceptive representations or claims.

Q3. Who regulates false advertising?

Ans. The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and is in charge of deciding whether certain advertising is inaccurate or misleading and taking action against the sponsors of such material.

Q4. What are the rules for false advertising?

Ans. The FTC Act forbids misleading or unfair advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must be truthful and not deceive people. A claim can be deceptive if important information is omitted or if the claim indicates something that is not true.

Q5. Is false advertising a breach of contract?

Ans. "Bait and switch" advertising is grounds for common-law fraud, unjust enrichment, and, in some cases, breach of contract action. A "bait and switch" scheme violates the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act as well.