Week 4 Final Paper Outline.docx

Week 4 Final Paper Outline.docx - Running head THE LEGAL...

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Running head: THE LEGAL AND ETHICAL 1 The Legal and Ethical Issue of False Advertising Jacquelyn Heikel BUS 670 Legal Environment Professor Grimsley June 26, 2017
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THE LEGAL AND ETHICAL 2 The legal and ethical issue of false advertising Advertising is a paid form of a presentation of goods or services by a business to consumers, to assist them in their purchase making process (Nebenzahl & Jaffe, 1998). Advertising allows businesses to give more viability to their product as well as information so consumers will be more inclined to purchase their product. Before the concept of false advertising, it was the responsibility of the buyer to inspect the goods carefully, but as technology and a global market progressed consumers had to rely more and more on brand identity, marketing and packaging to fully understand the product (Petty, 2015). False advertising is the ethical and legal misuse of the intent of advertising. False advertising is the use of misleading claims and deception that falsely encourages consumers as well as may cause injury (Nebenzahl & Jaffe, 1998). Under the laws of false advertising there are two types: first is the mislabeling of products or services and the second is the use of false advertising to produce an advantage over the competition (Sutherland, 1945). Incorrect or exaggerated information on the labeling of products may result in harm to the consumer that believes the claims to be true. For instance, the product could state that it is gluten free when it is not but if an individual with Celiac disease consumes the product it can lead to serious harm. Another account of false advertising is when advertisers choose to lie to get a leg up on the competition, such as using greenwashing to attract the ever growing environmentally conscious market. The enforcement of false advertising has changed throughout the years. Some of the First false advertising statues called the Printer’s Ink Statues in the early 20 th century condemned knowingly false advertising but was largely enforced by local advertising clubs or the Better Business Bureaus (Petty, 2015). However, in 1914 the FTC was established with authority to prevent unfair methods of computation and challenged advertising that displayed a false description of goods, misrepresentation of quality, copying another product, misrepresentation of origin, and false endorsements or testimonials (Petty, 2015). These characteristics of false advertising can be considered ethical issues under the utilitarianism or creating for the greater god or deontology which satisfies an ideal but does not necessarily mean it is for the greater good. Additionally, the concept of providing deceptive information to the public can be analyzed under the First Amendment in protecting speech, Negligence tort as physical harm can come from deceptive advertising, and breaking anti-trust laws as advertising can be used to bolster one’s brand image over the competition. Finally, to reduce the liability exposure advertisers must consider speech with an honest intent and accuracy in claims.
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