Both state and federal law prohibit companies from using deceptive advertising practices. Those convicted of employing illegal practices may be required to pay up to $ 10,000 in fines for each violation, in addition to actual damages, and attorney’s fees, so if you have been accused of using unfair or misleading advertising practices, it is It is essential to speak to an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help you start formulating a defense.

What qualifies as intentional false advertising?

Under Florida law, the intentional use of false advertising during the sale of real or personal property, or of any service is strictly prohibited. This includes placing a public notice that describes the property or services, without intending to sell the property at the price represented. Businesses are also prohibited from making misleading statements about the quality or purpose of a product, or from giving consumers an incorrect understanding of the products they are buying.

There are a number of different types of false advertising tactics, including:

  • Bait change advertising, which occurs when companies lure consumers to their stores by promising to sell an item or service at a particular cost, but once the consumer arrives, they try to sell a more expensive product;
  • High pressure sales tactics involve putting pressure on a consumer to buy a product or service that they do not actually want or intend to buy;
  • Artificial price inflation, which occurs when a business wants to create the illusion that it is offering a lot in a product or service.

Refusing to sell a product at the advertised price generally creates a rebuttable assumption that the seller intended to use false advertising practices.

Exceptions

This law does not apply to specific individuals and entities, including:

  • Newspapers, magazines or other publishers of publications;
  • Owners or operators of radio stations, television stations or advertising media.

If these entities place an advertisement in public in good faith, without being aware that the person who agrees to do so does not intend to sell the property to a member of the general public, then they can escape liability under the law that prohibits false advertising.

Penalties

Companies that have been accused of using false advertising practices may be forced to:

  • Stop posting certain ads;
  • Stop engaging in deceptive practices;
  • Begin to include disclosure statements in your advertising;
  • Pay monetary damages to consumers;
  • Pay up to $ 10,000 in fines for each violation;
  • Pay the cost of reasonable attorney fees to the other parties.

These penalties can have devastating consequences for companies that were wrongfully accused of false advertising.

Call an Experienced White Collar Crime Lawyer Today

To discuss your case with a dedicated white collar crime attorney in Florida, please call Jeffrey S. Weiner, PA Criminal Defense Attorneys at (305) 670-9919 to schedule an evaluation of your case. We are prepared to aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Resource:

Flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/817.44