Holding our Manufacturers/Advertisers Accountable

false advertising Per the Federal Trade Commission: “If any claims made in advertising a product or service lead to a purchase because of the delivery of misleading or deceptive information, the underlying seller will be guilty of false advertising.” All well and good but how many people actually hold the advertisers liable. Many years ago, I was in a role of purchasing for and medical supplies for a clinic. The company I ordered from had several divisions, including, Medical, Dental and Veterinarian supplies. I happened to be ordering flu vaccine for a Dental clinic and out of curiosity also looked it up in their Medical supply catalog. Low and Behold, the same vaccine in the Medical supply catalog, was much less in cost than the same item in the Dental supply catalog. The company also had a policy of guaranteeing the lowest prices nationwide.

Having noted this discrepancy, I felt like I, as a consumer, was being duped. I found the CEO of the Corporation’s name and address and consequently wrote him a letter telling him of my findings. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I figured that with a big corporation to run, these types of things were something he might not be aware of, on a personal level.  I know that if it were my company, I would want to know, therefore, I took it upon myself to inform him.

It wasn’t but maybe 2 days later and I received a personal call from the CEO’s vice president. He admitted that they weren’t aware of this discrepancy and stated it would be fixed as well as thanked me for my efforts in letting them know. They also offered a small cash reward for my trouble, which wasn’t necessary or expected. I stated that I hoped this dishonesty in their advertising would stop. Needless to say, I didn’t have any other issues with them after that, as they kept their word and fixed it.

The Federal Trade Commission in this country was put in place to protect us the consumers. Examples they gave as suggestions of false advertising were things such as rebates; meaning not given at time of purchase but rather in the future. This in itself is misleading to the consumer who is purchasing items secondary to getting the rebate. Look at the gentleman in Australia ( I believe) who bought a subway sandwich advertised to be 12 inches in length and when measured, turned out to be 11 inches in length; false advertising??

Why should manufacturers/advertising agencies get away with being unaccountable? Per the FTC, “the primary reason why false advertising is considered illegal in the United States and various other nations is that the consumer is given the undeniable and innate right to know what product or service they are purchasing.” If you feel that you’re being mislead in purchasing a service or product, they it’s up to you to report this. It will not get better if ya’ll don’t put out the effort to turn it around. Like with my experience, you might be pleasantly surprised at the effort from the perpetrator, to fix it.


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