Cracking Down on False Advertising: FTC's Stern Warning to Companies

In April 2023, the FTC sent a stern warning to approximately 670 organizations. 

The message was simple: Companies who mislead consumers with unsubstantiated product claims will be subject to penalties. 

This warning follows a December update that the FTC made around guidelines for advertising health-related products. The new notification, however, isn’t strictly limited to just health claims, as warnings were sent out across a broad spectrum of brands, ranging from convenience stores to cereal brands.

Penalties can be steep, with each violation carrying a potential monetary value of up to $50,120. Similar to the CAN-SPAM Act, each consumer subject to deceptive marketing can be counted as an individual violation. That means the penalty amount can add up rapidly!

Why Issue the Warnings?

The FTC is all about protecting consumers. Living in this modern, connected world of social media and the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re constantly being bombarded with advertising daily, with a lot of it being published without thinking about how it could mislead the consumer.

Think of it as the Wild West of Ads

By issuing these warnings, the FTC hopes to stop the spread of false advertising proactively. It should be noted that receiving a warning does not imply immediate guilt—it’s simply a notice that there could be penalties if caught. 

Issuing these warnings in the first place is also an essential step towards enforcement for the FTC. This is because they cannot levy penalties upon any company before issuing a warning to them (learn more about the FTC’s penalty offense authority here). Since they have now officially been warned, all 670 organizations are officially on notice and can have action taken against them for any uncovered false advertising.

Avoid Deceptive Messages with LashBack

Companies can utilize many different advertising channels, and one of the most heavily used is email marketing. With these warnings being sent out to multiple organizations and likely more to come, keeping email marketing compliance in mind is now more critical than ever.

And that’s LashBack’s bread and butter.

LashBack provides organizations with the compliance tools they need to ensure their email marketing adheres to all regulations and standards. Be alerted on custom sets of criteria and monitor for words in your emails that may be flagged as non-compliant or inaccurate. 

Search our database for any email mentioning your brand and spot-check if the messaging is accurate, precise, and contains no false claims that could impact the consumer - regardless of whether it comes from in-house or external marketing partners.

By utilizing LashBack’s comprehensive set of compliance tools, you’ll know firsthand whether the email marketing that your organization is putting out is deceptive or not, allowing for quick remediation.

Take charge of your company's compliance and schedule a demo today to discover how LashBack can help you prioritize email compliance and avoid FTC fines.

Your marketing compliance program shouldn’t just monitor emails for all other marketing channels, including web, social media, calls, messaging, and documents; see how PerformLine has you covered! Learn more here.

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