How Can Your Business’ Promotional Materials, Websites or Social Media Posts Lead to a Class Action Lawsuit Against Your Business? …Easy.
Businesses define themselves and hold themselves out to potential customers through their websites, social media presence, advertising, promotional materials, and marketing. Through these forms of commercial communication, businesses make promises to their customers in the form of guarantees, representations, and warranties. Sometimes it is done entirely unwittingly.
If these promises aren’t fulfilled, or if representations about the business or its products turn out to be false or misleading, customers that relied on them will often have claims for breach, unfair and deceptive business practices, and more – and if those promises are broken to many customers, a single customer’s claim can mushroom into a class action of customers claims. And class action claims are very often the beginning of the end of small business.
Having one of our business attorneys review your business’s advertising, marketing and promotional materials, and websites, could save your business from hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars in potential liability. This is the type of client-centric legal services we provide to our clients – and we very often discover misleading or false statements in the marketing, advertising, promotional materials and websites that we review.
It may seem odd to hire a Business Lawyer to review your marketing, promotional, and advertising materials (brochures, flyers, websites, commercials, mailers etc) but it is these materials that very often get businesses into the most expensive legal trouble. Consumer protection statutes in many states – specifically Massachusetts – allow the consumer to recover multiple damages (double or triple the actual losses) plus litigation costs and attorney’s fees.
Examples of Liability-Creating Advertising:
- a business that incorrectly identifies itself on its website as a “service provider” when, in fact, it is only a “broker” of the services and performs no actual services itself;
- a seller of food products makes claims that could be construed as “medical claims” in violation of FDA regulations;
- a business makes claims about product quality that are have no support or basis in fact, or are in violation of a state or federal regulation;
- a business fails to put disclaimers or qualifiers on express promises, claims, warranties, or guarantees;
- a business offers a sweepstakes that violates state law;
- a business uses the trademarks of others – or fails to properly identify the registered trademarks of others – in its advertising or marketing materials;
- a business misrepresents itself, its products and/or its services (or the products and services of a competitor) to entice potential customers to buy its products or services.
Big companies have both in-house and outside legal counsel to conduct legal reviews of their websites, social media presence, advertisements, and promotional and marketing materials on a regular basis to protect themselves from the lawsuits that can – and very often do – arise from the types of examples above. But the examples above are not exhaustive – and businesses can run into self-inflicted legal trouble through its promotional materials, websites and social media in a whole variety of other ways.
With the help of the Boston Business Attorneys at THE JACOBS LAW LLC, your small business can now afford to do the same.
A review by an experienced Business Lawyer at The Jacobs Law can be worth hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars, in dollars saved by avoiding lawsuits by competitors or consumers for claims related to false, misleading or deceptive promotional materials, websites and social media posts, unfulfilled marketing promises or false “guarantees”, or fake / unlawful sweepstakes.
‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ – has never been more true when applied to these circumstances.
Lawsuits for false, misleading, or deceptive advertising, breach of contract, and breach of warranty have become big business for lawyers — and not just for consumer claims brought by traditional plaintiff attorneys.
The Federal Lanham Act allows competitors to sue other competitors for false, misleading or deceptive advertising, and one of the penalties is disgorgement of profits earned from such ads. Nonetheless, competitors can still make common law claims for false or misleading claims made in business advertising.
A Business Attorney at The Jacobs Law LLC can assist your business with conducting legal reviews of your websites and marketing and advertising materials. Don’t get caught by unexpected consumer or competitor lawsuits for broken promises, failed guarantees, or false, misleading or deceptive advertising. Our Business Attorneys have experience reviewing and advising businesses on their promotional, marketing and advertising materials for claims or other statements that may give rise to legal trouble. Contact a Boston Business Lawyer at The Jacobs Law LLC today!
Legal Review of Marketing, Promotional & Advertising Materials