Advertising Regulations and Restrictions
In this modern era, media has gained much importance and has become a necessity just like clothes and food. In this field, Advertising is the major focal point. The purpose of advertising to deliver information regarding products to people and them well aware of the features of products that helps them to make their buying decisions. But, unfortunately nowadays, advertising is not done properly and ethically. The companies are doing deceptive advertisements of products in order to attract people. They are advertising wrong features and price of product. In this regard, there are rules and regulations; FTC’s established standards, the Lanham Act and incorporate laws such as civil action that are framed in order to ensure compliance. Under 15 U.S.C. § 45 (a), Section 5 of the FTC act has forbidden deceptive and unfair practices an acts (Stewart). An act is considered as unfair if it injures a consumer and is considered as deceptive if it represent the product in a fake way that mislead the consumers (Stewart). Section 12-15 of the FTC’s act, under U.S.C. § 52-55 has however not allowed for the broadcasting of the claims for devices, cosmetics, food, services and drugs (Stewart).
The use of deceptive advertising has also been considered as illegal in Lanham Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (a) of Lanham Act explains that the advertisement is deceptive when false captions or statements are made about the product. Even if such statements deceive or have the capability to deceive, they are considered in the false advertising. This deception is however done for material gains and the plaintiff got injured in case he/she has used the product and the results are contrary to those mentioned (Klass). Furthermore, the advertisements of alcohol and tobacco have become famous among the adults, especially among the teenagers. The sale of these products is directly related to the advertising. Various tobacco and alcohol brands are promoting their products on national television, which is creating chaos among the young population by destroying their health and involving them in social crimes. Certain acts are developed in this regard. For example, Wilson Act, and Webb Kenyon Act, which prevent the transportation of distilled, fermented, and intoxicating liquids within the states and established jurisdiction.
However, there are legal mandates in order to ensure the compliance and serious actions are also designed in case of non-compliance. Considering the fact that, for promoting conformity and compliance in advertising and to punish those that do not obey laws civil action has been suggested. According to Lanham law, any individual, who is connected with sale of goods and services and uses disingenuous and deceitful representation for commercially advertising and promoting the product or service is considered as liable for the civil action (Reichman, and Cannady). According to FTC law, non-compliance of advertising rules and regulations will be considered as the criminal action and it will be treated in the courts as antitrust matter and the individual can be jailed for such misleading actions.
Furthermore, for controlling advertising relating to tobacco and alcohol, there is Federal Alcohol Administration Act, whose section 203; do not allow any businesses regarding such products e.g., wine etc, without permission. Penalty and fine is imposed in case of not obeying the rules and regulations as set by law. Further, for ensuring prevention from deceptive ‘advertising and alcohol and tobacco advertisement’, Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act has also been introduced. This law requires creating factual and true awareness about the harmful effects of products. For example, now with advertisement of any brand of cigarette it is always mentioned that smoking is injurious to health. Moreover, warning is also mentioned on the packs of cigarettes. Moreover, there are Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, Comprehensive Smoking Education Act, and Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act that prohibits the advertisement of tobacco and alcohol on radio, television and other media and also educate people about the side effects of the product in order to protect health of people.
Klass, Gregory. "Meaning, Purpose, and Cause in the Law of." The Georgetown Law Journal . 100. (2012): 449-496. Print.
Stewart, David W. "Advertising Disclosures: Clear and Conspicuous or Understood and Used?." Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. 23.2 (2004): 183-192 . Print.
Reichman, Courtland L, and M Melissa Cannady. "False Advertising Under the Lanham Act." Franchise Law Journa. 21.4 (2002): 187-197. Print.