Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued notices of penalty offenses to approximately 670 companies, reminding them that they must have a reasonable basis to substantiate objective claims about their products. The reminders also urged companies to avoid making deceptive claims. The FTC’s notices are not an indication that the companies have violated the law, but rather a reminder that significant civil penalties can be imposed if advertising claims are not sufficiently substantiated.
The FTC Act stipulates that advertisers must have a reasonable basis to support any objective product claims, including claims about health, safety, or performance. The notices are a reminder that companies should ensure their advertising claims are truthful and not misleading to consumers. Violations of the FTC Act could result in civil penalties of up to $50,120 per violation.
The FTC has also urged companies to review their advertising and marketing practices to ensure that they comply with the FTC Act’s requirements. The notices serve as a warning to companies that they need to be diligent in their advertising practices to avoid violating the FTC Act and incurring penalties.