Common deceptive marketing practices

28/07/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Deceptive or false advertising is the marketing of information or visual content about a product that is misleading and unrealistic. Businesses use deceptive advertising to promote goods under claims that are not accurate to the product’s actual appearance or function.

Deceptive or false advertising can lead consumers to purchase products that are actually counterfeit, defective, or even dangerous.

Deceptive advertising and false advertising are present in a myriad of industries. Consumers must be wary of claims that look or sound too good to be true.

It is important to stay up-to-date with health alerts, safety alerts, product notifications, and recalls related to products that you use on a regular basis in order to minimize the risk of injury.

Ways to help recognize false advertising and bad products:

  • The price seems too good to be true for the type of product.
  • If photos and descriptions do not match up with the product you’ve received, it is likely deceptively marketed.
  • Fake online reviews of deceptively marketed products are overwhelmingly positive but do not provide realistic context. Even the most reputable products have some poor reviews from real customers. Most deceptively marketed products will “receive” glowing reviews from fake accounts.
  • If the business does not respond to inquiries or questions about their product, they are likely hiding something.
  • Check if the business is officially registered or recognized with governmental agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.


Disclose Accurate Prices

A common type of deceptive advertising is any commercial that gives incorrect or misleading information regarding a product’s price. The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces laws against deceptive advertising practices, reports that ads must fully disclose the price that a consumer can be expected to pay for a product and present any discounts, sales or markdowns in an honest way. For example, if an advertisement claims that a product’s price has been lowered 20 percent, but the advertised product never sold at a higher price, the ad may be deceptive.

Simply put, you cannot hide fees to make your product price sound incredible. For example, if you offer a laptop for sale at “only $199!” but there’s a bunch of add-ons that the customer must pay before they can take the product home, then you’re in dangerous territory. Most businesses get around this problem by placing an asterisk after the headline price which directs the consumer to the small print. But if the terms don’t match up, or they are not clear, then your advert may be classified as deceptive.

Avoid the Bait-and-Switch Tactic

Another common type of misleading advertisement is the bait-and-switch, in which an advertiser makes a claim about the price or availability of a product while never intending to actually sell the product, or to sell it for a much higher price. When customers respond to the advertisement, the seller exploits their interest to try to sell them the product at a higher price or a different product. Bait-and-switch advertising is not only a form of deceptive marketing; it’s illegal, according to the FTC, if the first contact or interview is secured by deception.

Portray Quality and Origin Honestly

While it’s generally deceptive for an advertisement to mislead consumers about price or availability, deceptive ads also are those that make statements about quality or origin that cannot be substantiated. For example, an advertisement cannot claim a product was “made in the United States” if it was actually manufactured in another country. Similarly, advertisements may be deceptive if the product has defects in quality that are not fully disclosed, or if an advertisement implies that the product may be used for a purpose it is not adequately designed for.

Another thing to watch out for is photography. If an image in an advert or marketing claim portrays the product in its best case scenario, and there’s no way the customer is going to get that product specification for the advertised price, the the advert could be deceptive. For example, you should not be showing an image of a double-thick, juicy burger if the product on the customer’s plate looks very different.