Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

Be careful when advertising on behalf of your business

If you own or run a business, you likely have either hired an advertising agency to handle your marketing needs or you have found creative ways to market yourself within your community and online. It is vitally important that regardless of whether you do your marketing yourself or you have hired someone to do your marketing for you that you remain aware of what marketing tactics are legal and which may lead to various liabilities.

For example, the Federal Trade Commission has recently decided to focus increasing amounts of effort on enforcing certain marketing and advertising guidelines known as fine-print disclosures. These fine-print disclosure guidelines generally apply to both print advertisements and television advertisements. During “Operation Full Disclosure” the FTC will aim to hold businesses and advertisers accountable for failure to divulge certain mandatory information when advertising on behalf of a product or service.

Failure to make proper disclosures in marketing campaigns is only one of many missteps that can land you in hot water legally. Other marketing missteps may lead you to become liable for false advertising or unfair competition. It is therefore important to advertise and market on behalf of your business in an informed way. Blindly trusting either your gut or your advertising agency is generally inadvisable for this reason. If you have questions about how to advertise or market on behalf of your business in sound, informed and legal ways, please consult an attorney experienced in business and commercial law. An attorney should be able to guide you in ways that conform to current marketing and advertising laws.

Source: Findlaw Free Enterprise, “FTC Focuses on Fine Print in 'Operation Full Disclosure',” Daniel Taylor, Sep. 26, 2014

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