The Internet is connecting advertisers and marketers to customers from Boston to Bali. If you're thinking about advertising on Internet, remember that many of same rules that apply to other forms of advertising apply to electronic marketing.
The Federal Trade Commission Act allows FTC to act in interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. The FTC has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to:
1. Mislead consumers and
2. Affect consumers' behavior or decisions about product or service.
In addition, an act or practice is unfair if injury it causes is:
2. Not outweighed by other benefits and
3. Not reasonably avoidable.
The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tell truth and not mislead consumers. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if claim implies something that's not true. For example, a lease advertisement for an automobile that promotes "$0 Down" may be misleading if significant and undisclosed charges are due at lease signing.
In addition, claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. The type of evidence may depend on product, claims, and what experts believe necessary. If your ad specifies a certain level of support for a claim - "tests show X" - you must have at least that level of support.