Improper Advertising or Solicitation

False and misleading advertising consists of any published claim that gives consumers an incorrect understanding of a product or service. False advertising can involve either false statements or statements that are misleading because they don’t mention important facts that consumers should be aware of. 

False advertising hurts both consumers and competing practices, which is why it is illegal under state and federal laws. No licensed professional is allowed to make false, misleading, or deceptive claims about a service’s quality, price, or purpose. Marketing claims must be supported by objective evidence. 


What Constitutes False and Misleading Advertising?

Deceptive advertising takes many forms. False and misleading advertising tactics that licensed professionals may use include the following: 

  • Unfairness: Unfair advertising promotes a product or service likely to cause injury that cannot be reasonably avoided and is not outweighed by potential benefits.
  • Deceptiveness: Deceptive advertising could mislead a reasonable customer either by direct statement or through a suggestion or connotation.
  • Implication: Implication occurs when an advertisement contains an indirect message that may unduly influence someone’s purchase decision.  
  • Failure to disclose important information: Remaining silent about a key issue or failing to disclose material facts about products and services can create an erroneous impression.
  • Unjustified expectation: Advertising may create an unjustified expectation about the results a licensed professional could achieve. 

For attorneys, engaging in improper solicitation is also considered a violation of ethical codes of conduct. Improper solicitation occurs when a lawyer solicits professional employment from prospective clients by in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact and the lawyer is motivated to do so for pecuniary gain. 

Licensed professionals in Ohio are held to high ethical and legal standards. Not only is false, misleading, or deceptive advertising unethical, it is also illegal. If you fail to adhere to false and misleading advertising laws, a complaint could be filed to your licensing board and you could face serious repercussions. 

Keep your advertising lawful by being accurate in your representations, not omitting material facts, being truthful in claims about pricing, and being able to substantiate the claims and representations you make. Because of the complexity of consumer protection laws and the serious implications of false and misleading advertising claims, licensed professionals should create a planning and review process for all promotional efforts. This process should include legal consultation regarding the application of state and federal regulations to advertising and marketing statements. 


Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Professional License Defense Attorneys 

Jones Law Group serves licensed professionals throughout the State of Ohio. We’ve represented doctors, dentists, veterinarians, real estate agents, accountants, attorneys, and other licensed professionals facing disciplinary sanctions against their state licenses. Our attorneys will help you gather the facts and demonstrate that the allegations against you are unjust or unfounded. If you have been accused of false and misleading advertising, speak with one of our attorneys immediately. Call (614) 545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.



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