I think we can agree that for the most part, websites are important business tools. Websites have the ability to do so much to help businesses grow by reaching a much wider audience than we can on a one on one basis. Also, websites are helpful tools to introduce and describe our products/services. Websites usually provide good information about the business background, who is who in the company, contact information, etc. Most importantly, though, websites can help us build TRUST with our audience by being truthful and providing reliable information.
TRUST is necessary to build any business. So, what your website says could either help or hurt your business. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of false and misleading advertising on websites. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sends Warning Letters to companies who mislead the public about the efficacy, labeling, or science behind products that are “good for us” for weight loss, supplements, cannabis, etc.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also looks at information on websites of companies being investigated for false and misleading advertising. The FTC not only sends letters to those companies, but it can and does file complaints against such deceitful companies as well.
Businesses must meet federal Advertising, Marketing and Promotions Law and regulations, but there are state laws and regulations that must be met as well. State agencies do work in conjunction with federal agencies when necessary for enforcement purposes. State agencies also investigate companies for false and misleading advertising within their jurisdictions.
Websites statements and/or omissions about products/services help build legal cases against companies who deceive the public. Given that whatever information on websites is in the public domain, it is usually used for legal enforcement purposes.
Best business practice would be to have your websites reviewed for compliance with Advertising, Marketing and Promotions laws and regulations, preferably BEFORE publicly launching your advertising campaigns in English and Spanish. Any questions? Please feel free to contact me.
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