Today, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated a campaign called Operation Full Disclosure in an attempt to force advertisers into compliance with federal marketing regulations.
Letters have already been sent to 60 advertisers, including 20 of the largest in the nation, warning them of the need to amend the product or service guarantees made in television and print advertisements. The September 23 announcement focuses on disclosures made in fine print, those that were misleading or were otherwise easy to overlook.
The letters sent to the offending organizations pointed out specific advertisements that posed issues for the FTC, and recommended that advertisers review these ads to ensure the language used was “clear and conspicuous.” The commission also asked the organizations to notify FTC staff of the changes they intended to make.
Overall, the response to these letters has been positive, the FTC said in a press release.
Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, explained that consumers depend on the information provided to them by advertisers to make a host of decisions in their daily lives. It is the FTC’s place to ensure the public is not being misled by false promises or hidden information.
The commission requires that any important information should be unobscured, presented in a format that is obvious to the consumer and not hidden in irrelevant details, such as fine print. They should also appear in a font that is easy to read and in a shade that stands out from the background of the ad.
In some ads that the FTC found to be out of compliance with federal standards, a price quoted was not accurate, such as a “risk-free” trial period that did not warn the consumer they would be paying for shipping or other costs. In others, contradictory information was provided.
The product liability attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm believe that victims of false advertising or defective items deserve justice. We trust manufacturers to provide us with products and services as advertised, and when they do not they may be liable for damages.
For a FREE consultation of your claim, contact our firm at (866) 947-7449 or fill out our free case evaluation formtoday.