How do you feel when someone you trust lies to you about something important? Personally, I feel betrayed, maybe even violated depending on what the lie was. One thing is for sure, how do you trust someone who has lied about something important thereafter? Now lets apply this concept to business…
TRANSPARENCY is crucial for any business. Building a business is based on having the consumer trust us and believe what we say is true. Eventually that trust and reliance turns into profits, but violate either or both, what’s left?
Unfortunately, there are countless examples of lack of transparency in Advertising, Marketing and Promotions Law. Transparency violations often lead to either being sued by consumers, government agencies, competitor, or being challenged by self-regulatory bodies. A recent example is the FTC enforcing the law against a company that marketed its bath and beauty products as “organic” and “vegan”. The company’s products in fact were “neither 100% organic nor certified organic by the USDA.” Although the products did contain non-vegan ingredients, the company also falsely advertised its products as vegan.
The FTC stated that “[t]o know if a product is truly organic, consumers have to rely on companies to be truthful and accurate….” “That’s why we’ll hold companies accountable when they lie about their products being organic, especially when they’ve used fake certificates and ignored USDA warnings.”
This particular company not only sold it’s products online, but also sold “through third-party websites, such as ulta.com, urbanoutfitters.com, nordstrom.com, and aerie.com, and provide[d] third parties with marketing materials used to market and sell… products.”
We are all consumers regardless of our career choices. What we eat, drink, ingest, and put on our bodies, is important. Some people have had health scares forcing life changes such as going organic. We all rely on honest and transparent product marketing and labeling.
Best practice for businesses is to be transparent about your products and/or services. If the claim cannot be substantiated, is it worth losing the consumer’s trust? #substantiationequalstrust. #transparencyformstrust #advertisingandmarketinglawyer #hispanicadvertisingandmarketingattorney #couponlegality #promotiontransparency #promotionalintegrity
For more information:https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2019/09/truly-organic-ftc-says-no-alleges-retailer-misled-consumers-about