A lot of marketing, especially on the internet, seems to be misleading and exaggerated, whether it be about their products or its effectiveness.
Yes, many of these advertisements are false and misleading, which is why there are a plethora of class action lawsuits out there.
In California, the operative statute is Business and Professions Code section 17500. False advertising claims are brought under California Business and Professions Code section 17500, part of California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL) which prohibits false advertising.
Note than an individual must have "standing" to bring a lawsuit under California Business and Professions Code section 17500. Until 2004, individuals or groups that never suffered any loss or harm could sue on behalf of the general public without satisfying traditional class action requirements. However, after the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2004, California implemented important procedural changes to Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and Section 17500, requiring a plaintiff to show that he or she suffered an actual injury and lost money or property as a result of such unfair competition.
Alternatively, an individual can report the false advertising to the California Attorney General's Office to prosecute a civil action for the false advertising under California's UCL.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
There is a line between hyperbole (obviously undtrue puffery) and genuinely false claims intending to deceive the average person. I doubt that anybody would truly beive the claim you give above. If true, any politician who bought the product would win, if he or she could bring enough voters into range of its effectiveness. The "man or woman" is intriguing, suggesting that gays would be harried by straight suitors, and straights would be harrassed by gays.
Consider Rolls Royce long running claim to be "the best car in the World". Possibly true in 1917, probably not in some later years, but hyperbole just the same. An opinion. On the other hand, the Ford LTD's claim in the 60's that it was "as quiet as a Rolls Royce" had better have been true, even when it was running.
"Gold has risen in value over the past decade" vs. "You will surely make 15% per annum if you buy our gold coins" (bad) v. "Gold is a good investment" (ok) v. "Gold is a safe investment" (bad).
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And especially irritating to me, since everyone should know that only the Love Potion recipe handed down to me by my Grandmother can actually make any woman fall in love with you. Oh, those false claims!! Many are crafted to sound great, but do not say anything. Many are just lies, and so the class actions my colleague mentions. They key is sales resistance and a discerning mind. But, if no one believed, the ads would not run. So, there must be a fresh crop of the gullible every year. Snopes (dot) Com can help, but education is the key. Our Sheriff employs a detective who helps spread the word of ElderScams.
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