California’s unfair competition law was designed to protect competitors
and consumers by promoting fair competition in the marketplace.
Under Section 17500 of the Business and Professions Code, it is unlawful
for any individual, corporation, or employee to directly or indirectly
advertise or disseminate any statement that is untrue or misleading concerning
real or personal property, or services.
false advertising law prohibits any false statements made in connection with the advertisement
or sale of goods or services where the maker knew, or should have known
were false or misleading in nature.
Essentially, all forms of deceptive advertising are prohibited.
False and Deceptive Claims
In the business world, there is a significant difference between pushing
the truth and making a false claim. Is a product actually “scientifically
proven,” or have the “results been guaranteed?”
For corporations that cross the line, it can cost millions and they can
lose credibility. For example, Dannon’s Activia yogurt campaign
lured customers into buying the product for its purported nutritional
benefits – when in actuality, the yogurt was the same as other yogurts.
On Feb. 26, 2010,
ABC News reported on a class action settlement against Dannon which forced the
company to pay up to $45 million in damages to consumers claiming they
were duped by the company’s claims.
False Advertising Under Federal Law
Under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a), commonly referred to as the Lanham Act,
any person who, in connection with any good or services uses any false
or misleading description of fact or representation of fact, which is
likely to cause confusion or deceive, shall be liable for a civil action
by anyone who believes that they have been damaged by such act.
Filing a Claim for False Advertising
To file a claim for false advertising, the plaintiff must be able to show:
1) the statements in the advertising were misleading or untrue, and 2)
the defendants either knew, or should have known that the statements were
untrue or misleading.
Some of the legal remedies available under a false advertising claim include
injunctive relief and restitution – this applies to public and private
To learn more about false advertising claims,
The Mirkhan Law Firm, APC
to schedule a consultation with an Orange County