Friday, November 1, 2013



What “Jack” shows you and what you get from Jack! &

*Special thanks to "Google Images", "", "", "Adweek",
and "USNews & World Report"

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA
11. 1.13

While trying to decide upon a topic for this week’s article I was once again at my favorite Jack In The Box having breakfast.  Generally speaking, I like their food – it usually looks as good as pictured in their menu, love their coffee but there is one thing about this restaurant franchise which annoys me to no end.  Their Taco’s! 

Just to explain in case there isn’t a “Jack” in your town, they make their version of something called a “Taco” and it’s an insult to Mexican cooking everywhere!    It’s like no other Taco I’ve ever seen before.  Their picture looks like the traditional Taco, but in fact it is something they have deep fried, encrusted in some kind of corn tortilla, with what appears to contain some kind of animal food inside.  I think they’re awful and have declared them uneatable.  These really look nothing like the photo on their menu board.  I feel this is a classic case of false advertising. 

Jack In The Box has been serving their version of this “Taco” for years so it would appear that I’m in the minority of Taco connoisseurs and at the price of 2 for .99 cents “Jack” has cornered the market.  Sometimes they even give them away – free when you purchase one of their specials.  I have a friend who confessed that she once ate six of them and I exclaimed, “how could you – they’re awful”!  That’s when I decided upon this week’s topic.  No it’s not about Taco’s; we’re writing  about “False Advertising”.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided on Wednesday to uphold a previous Administrative Law Judge ruling that POM Wonderful made false claims on its supplement and food products.
After initially suing the pomegranate-based product company in September 2010, the Commission denied the appeal filed by POM and maintained in a 5-0 ruling that POM marketers made deceptive and false advertising claims in 36 of their advertisements and promotional materials. The recent decision actually goes beyond the initial ruling which found only 19 deceptive or false claims.

Most of us feel the days of the “Snake Oil Salesman” have long since past and we are safe from false claims made by advertisers today.  I mean with all the Federal agencies’ which regulate so many products from food and beverages to well, you name it, and that’s not including all of the “watch dog agencies’” in society these days.

For some time now the “Tonight Show” on NBC runs a funny bit about misleading advertising their writers have dug up and which viewers have sent in.  In most cases these ads are from small newspapers and are usually typographical errors which are amusing but some are truly false and misleading.  Although their host Jay Leno and Johnny Carson who preceded Jay capitalizes on the humor created by these mistakes; viewers become conscious of the reality in deceptive advertising today.

“Consumer Reports” is a publication which has been around for many years and rates all types of products from automobiles to any and every thing making their picks for best and rating all the others they’ve tested.  “Underwriters Laboratory’s” is another organization which actually tests products for reliability giving their seal of approval for products meeting their standards. “Good House Keeping” is a similar organization testing products in today’s market place. Just one more thing - "Google" the product just to see what review others have given the product

With all of the testing and scrutiny by independent organizations and the Government there are still products making false claims and engaging in deceptive advertising.  How many times have we heard about products being recalled and law suits pursued against manufactures who have failed to meet their industry standards and the Government and public’s expectations.  The old expression, “buyers beware” is still a must in today’s world!

FTC acts on IPR’s Complaint about Your Baby Can Read’s Deceptive Advertising
Posted on September 12, 2012 by Angela Campbell
On August 28, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission responded to IPR’s Request for Investigation by filing a complaint against the makers of  Your Baby Can Read! (“YBCR”).  YBCR is a set of DVDs, books, and flashcards that retails for approximately $200.  It has been advertised widely on television and the internet for several years.

If we had to pick an industry where deceptive advertising still flourishes today it would be those companies producing personal hygiene products and especially those produced for women. They make all sorts of claims and they are so untrue!  Everything from improving your love life to helping you succeed in the work place - and the wrinkle creams which some now call "anti-aging serums!  They really go to far.  That's because it is a well known fact that women will do almost anything - any cream and any pill!  Many of these products are never around very long; they earn a profit and will then reemerge under a different name and maker.  They are just one step ahead of the law suites!

Oh yes - before we forget; children's advertising is a completely different area all together! They love everything and anything!  Especially if there is a cartoon character on the box. Mothers know all too well.  Bright colors not only attract Bee's but are a sure fire tactic to attract a child's eyes and attention.  Incidentally; they attract larger children as well!

Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest
Additionally, advertisers attempt to address children as consumers in their own right and so develop strategies to build brand awareness and purchasing habits. One advertiser claims this is not as difficult as it would seem:

We have selected a few articles this week which illustrate how advertising is deceptive and false.  Normally we don’t begin writing for “Noodleman" without referring to “” and this week is no exception and it is here that we found a Bonanza of information on the subject.  We then turned to the Advertising Industry’s trade journal, “AdWeek” for further information on this subject.  The web site “Mental Floss” exposes more false and deceptive companies who have engaged in deceptive advertisements over the years and finally; we are featuring an excellent article from “USNews & World Report”.

False Advertising
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid, many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising. "Truth" refers to essentially the same concept, that customers have the right to know what they are buying, and that all necessary information should be on the label.
False advertising, in the most blatant of contexts, is illegal in most countries. However, advertisers still find ways to deceive consumers in ways that are legal, or technically illegal but unenforceable.

Hidden fees and surcharges
Service providers often tack on the fees and surcharges that are not disclosed to the customer in the advertised price. One of the most common is for activation of services such as mobile phones, but is also common in broadband, telephony, gym memberships, and air travel. In most cases, the fees are hidden in fine print, though in a few cases they are so confused and obfuscated by ambiguous terminology that they are essentially undisclosed. Hidden fees are frequently used in airline and air travel advertising.  In the case of motor vehicles, hidden charges may include taxes, registration fees, freight, pre-delivery inspection (PDI), licenses, insurance or other costs associated with getting a vehicle on the road.  Airlines and car manufacturers hire firms that disadvantage customers through:
  • Unfair contract terms, notably with respect to consumer compensation.
  • Use customer data for purposes other than they were obtained for.
  • Apply unfair fees, charges and penalties on transactions.
  • Place artificial restrictions on the time period during which customers can submit claims.
For delivered items in the US, the amount of shipping and handling fees is typically not disclosed (although the fact that there will be such charges is disclosed). Advertisers will often claim an item costs "only" a small amount (or is even "free") when, in fact, the shipping charges enable them to make a profit.

"Going out of business" sales
In many cases, liquidators hired to sell merchandise from a closing store will actually raise the prices on items that were already marked-down on clearance. For items already marked down, this means the liquidator increases the price and then "discounts" it from there. Also common is for the sale prices at a retail chain's other stores to be lower than the liquidator's prices at the closing stores. Liquidators typically refuse to accept returns, so if a customer notices being overcharged, there is no apparent recourse. This is used by most advertisers trying to prove the acceptability of their products.
Misuse of the word "free"
The usual meaning of "free" is "devoid of cost or obligation". However, retailers often use the word for something which is merely included in the overall price. One common example is a "buy one, get one free" sale. The second item is not "free" under the normal definition, since, to obtain it, the buyer is obliged to pay the full cost of the first item.

Other deceptive methods

Manipulation of measurement units and standards
Sellers may manipulate standards to mean something different than their widely understood meaning. One example is with personal computer hard drives. While a megabyte (MB) has always meant 220 (1,048,576) bytes in computer science, disk manufacturers began using the metric system (SI) prefix meaning of 106 (1,000,000) as their hardware standard. By stating the sizes of hard drives in MB as 1,000,000 bytes instead of 1,048,576 bytes, they overstate capacity by nearly 5%. With gigabytes (GB) the error increases to over 7% (1,073,741,824 instead of 1,000,000,000), and nearly 10% for the larger and increasingly common terabyte (TB). Seagate Technology and Western Digital were sued in a class-action suit for this. Both companies agreed to settle the suit and reimburse customers in kind, yet they still continue to advertise this way. To help combat this problem, a number of standards and trade organizations approved standards and recommendations in 2000 for a new set of binary prefixes, proposed earlier by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), that would refer unambiguously to powers of 1024. These new units are numerically identical to the established computer science convention, easing transition. Other operating systems either continue to use the older computer science convention (Microsoft Windows), or have switched to the new units (GNU/Linux), which are numerically identical to the older convention. Thus disk hardware on these systems still reports the actual capacity, which is lower than advertised.

In another example, in the US, car engine displacement was changed from US customary units to metric, during the 1980s, to disguise that they were dramatically downsized. This was done while most other automotive measurements remained in US customary units.

In a more blatant example, Fretter Appliance stores claimed "I’ll give you five pounds of coffee if I can’t beat your best deal". While initially they gave away that quantity, they later redefined them as "Fretter pounds", which, unsurprisingly, were much lighter than standard pounds.

In an example of standards manipulation, US car rental agencies routinely refer to cars as one class larger than they are, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards. For example, they would refer to a car as "full-sized", while the EPA would call the same car "mid-sized".

Fillers and oversized packaging
Some products are sold with fillers, which increase the legal weight of the product with something that costs the producer very little compared to what the consumer thinks that he or she is buying. Food is an example of this, where meat is injected with broth or even brine (up to 15%), or TV dinners are filled with gravy or other sauce instead of meat. Malt and cocoa butter have been used as filler in peanut butter.

Manipulation of terms
Listerine advertisement, 1932. The FTC found that the claim of these advertisements, reduced likelihood of catching cold, was false.
Many terms do have some meaning, but the specific extent is not legally defined, leading to their abuse. A frequent example (until the term gained a legal definition) was "organic" food. "Light" food also is an even more common manipulation. The term has been variously used to mean low in calories, sugars, carbohydrates, salt, texture, thickness (viscosity), or even light in color. Unlike the term "Organic", the term "Natural" has no legal definition when describing food products. Labels such as "All-Natural" are frequently used but are essentially meaningless. Tobacco companies, for many years, used terms like "low tar", "light", "ultra-light", "mild" or "natural" in order to imply that products with such labels had less detrimental effects on health, but in recent years it was proved that those terms were considered misleading.

Another example is the United Egg Producers' "Animal Care Certified" logo on egg cartons which misled consumers by conveying a higher level of animal care than was actually the case. The Better Business Bureau found the logo to be deceptive and the original logo can no longer be used.

Incomplete comparison
"Better" means one item is superior to another in some way, while "best" means it is superior to all others in some way. However, advertisers frequently fail to list the way in each they are being compared (price, size, quality, etc.) and, in the case of "better", to what they are comparing (a competitor's product, an earlier version of their own product, or nothing at all). So, without defining how they are using the terms "better" or "best", the terms become meaningless. An ad which claims "Our cold medicine is better" could be just saying it is an improvement over taking nothing at all.

Inconsistent comparison
In an inconsistent comparison, an item is compared with many others, but only compared with each on the attributes where it wins, leaving the false impression that it is the best of all products, in all ways. One variation on this theme is web sites which also list some competitor prices for any given search, but do not list those competitors which beat their price (or the web site might compare their own sale prices with the regular prices offered by their competitors).

Misleading illustrations
One common example is that of serving suggestion pictures on food product boxes, which show additional ingredients beyond those included in the package. Although the "serving suggestion" disclaimer is a legal requirement of an illustration which includes items not included in the purchase, if a customer fails to notice or understand this caption, they may incorrectly assume that all depicted items are included.
Another example is advertised images of hamburgers, which may show the items to be larger than they really are. Often every ingredient is visible from the side being depicted in the advertisement, while in actuality they would be much less visible. Products which are sold unassembled or unfinished may also have a picture of the finished product, without a corresponding picture of what the customer is actually buying.

False coloring
When used to make people think food is riper, fresher, or otherwise healthier than it really is, food coloring can be a form of deception. When combined with added sugar or corn syrup, bright colors give the subconscious impression of healthy, ripe fruit, full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. One variation is packaging which obscures the true color of the foods contained within, such as red mesh bags containing yellow oranges or grapefruit, which then appear to be a ripe orange or red. Regularly stirring hamburger on sale at a deli can also make the meat on the surface stay red, implying that it is fresh, while it would quickly oxidize and brown, showing its true age, if left unstirred.

Angel dusting
Angel dusting is a process where an ingredient which would be beneficial, in a reasonable quantity, is instead added in an insignificant quantity which will have no consumer benefit, so they can make the claim that it contains that ingredient, and mislead the consumer into expecting that they will gain the benefit. For example, a cereal may claim it contains "12 essential vitamins and minerals," but the amounts of each may be only 1% or less of the Reference Daily Intake, providing virtually no benefit to nutrition.

Bait-and-switch is a technique where advertisers advertise an item which is unavailable when the consumer arrives at the store, who is then sold a similar product at higher price. Bait-and-switch is legal in the United States, provided that ads state that there is a limited supply (sometimes they must list the quantity) and that no rain checks will be offered.

Guarantee without a remedy specified
If a company does not say what they will do if the product fails to meet expectations, then they are free to do very little. This is due to a legal technicality that states that a contract cannot be enforced unless it provides a basis not only for determining a breach but also for giving a remedy in the event of a breach.

"No risk"
Advertisers frequently claim there is no risk to trying their product, when clearly there is. For example, they may charge the customer's credit card for the product, offering a full refund if not satisfied. However, the risks of such an offer are numerous. Customers may not get the product at all, they may be billed for things they did not want, they may need to call the company to authorize a return and be unable to do so, they may not be refunded the shipping and handling costs, or they may be responsible for the return shipping.

Acceptance by default
This refers to a contract or agreement where no response is interpreted as a positive response in favor of the business. An example of this is where a customer must explicitly "opt-out" of a particular feature or service, or be charged for that feature or service. Another example is where a subscription automatically renews unless the customer explicitly requests it to stop. This is even conducted when the customer may have specified a specific length of subscription up front, that is then exceeded and renewed without notification to the customer.

Undisclosed dishonest business practices
Banks, for example, will sometimes reorder charges against an account to maximize the number of overdrafts. The bank processes the largest charge occurs first, causing the account to be overdrawn, so that all subsequent smaller charges also overdraft, resulting in multiple overdraft fees, even if, under the original order, only one overdraft would have occurred. in 2011, several banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, TD Bank and Citizens Financial Group paid hundreds of millions in settlements over the practice. Similarly, where a sequence of transactions includes both deposits and withdrawals, a bank may sequence the transactions so that the withdrawals are processed before the deposits, to create an overdraft.



6 Cases of Shamelessly False Advertising
Kristen Steagall
filed under: greatest-hits

Image credit: 

Sometimes false advertising is easy to spot. Statements like "Lose 20 pounds in 5 days" or "Make $1 million a month while sitting at home" seem to choke on their own incredulity, but sometimes marketers employ a little more finesse to bamboozle you. Here are six examples of shamelessly false advertising campaigns that weren't just implicitly misleading—they were blatant lies.
1. Listerine as a Cure-All
Listerine was the first over-the-counter mouthwash sold in the United States in 1914 and by 1921 it was already falsely marketing its product. Declaring itself a cure-all for common cold ailments like sore throats and coughs, a dandruff preventative, an anti-shave tonic, and a safe way to protect yourself from cuts, bruises, wounds, and stings, Listerine was slapped with numerous false advertisement lawsuits. In 1975, the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company to spend $10 million in corrective advertising, seeing as their product was no more effective in treating colds than gargling warm water. Even then, the mouthwash giant didn't really learn their lesson. In 2005, the company was slapped with another lawsuit. This time because Listerine claimed it was as "effective as floss" after rigging clinical trials.
2. Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound (Great for boozy housewives!)
Touted as one of the world's first successful businesswomen, Lydia Pinkham exploited her reputation as a local medicine woman to propel her herbal remedy into a commercial success, eventually grossing almost $400,000 yearly. The remedy claimed to cure all womanly ailments and weaknesses and sold for $1 a bottle. What was in the herbal remedy? Turns out, it contained less than 1% solid substance from vegetable extracts and almost 20% alcohol. If a woman took the suggested 1 tablespoon every 2-4 hours, she will have consumed 5 ounces of 13.5% or higher alcohol by the end of the day "“ more than enough for a healthy buzz that made life seem a bit more cheery to boozy housewives. When the Federal Trade Commission tightened its laws on claims made by medicines, Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound had to swallow the restrictions with a spoonful of sugar.
3. Crystal Clear Amoco Gasoline: Good, Clean Fun
In 1996, the Amoco Oil Company agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission charge that its "Crystal Clear Amoco Ultimate" advertised unsubstantiated claims. The premium gasoline, because of its clear color, boasted superior engine performance and environmental benefits. The fact is, at the time the country was going through a clear revolution. Pepsi had gone clear (Crystal clear, in fact!). Clearly Canadian was dominating shelves. And Amoco, which had for years made a clear colored fuel, decided to capitalize on the trend. Unfortunately, they had no factual evidence to substantiate their "better for the environment and your engine" claims, and the company was forced to curb their campaign.
4. Dr. Koch's Cure All
Starting in 1919, Dr. William Frederick Koch bottled and marketed a cancer, infection, and allergy cure-all with the help of his brother Louis. His drug glyoxylide, which he claimed cured "practically all human ills, including . . . tuberculosis" sold for $25 (1948 price) in local drug stores. The FDA had always been suspicious of the doctor, but not until they tested the drug in 1948 and found it contained nothing more than distilled water were their suspicions confirmed. And what proved to be more appalling, they discovered that Dr. Koch had been treating cancer patients by telling them to detox with the aid of enemas and fresh fruit and vegetable juices, taking only the smallest doses of painkillers. Unfortunately, despite all of his patients dying enough evidence was never found to present a viable case against him, and Dr. Koch moved to Rio de Janeiro in the late 1940s.
5. Airborne Gets a Flunking Grade
"It's the one designed by the school teacher!" Airborne, which entered the market 10 years ago first claimed to prevent colds, then claimed to boost your immune system, and is now claiming a federal lawsuit. In March of this year, Airborne settled a lawsuit in which it agreed to pay over $23 million in fines for false advertising. David Schardt, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Airborne says there is no factual evidence to back the companies claims, likening Airborne to a placebo and advising people fighting colds to simply take a Vitamin C pill.
6. The Trick Wedding straight from Mickey Blue Eyes
We know this one isn't a product, but the story was so good we had to include it. In September 1990, a group of drug crime suspects in Corunna, Michigan, received an invitation to a wedding from a well"“known drug dealer in the area. Attendees were asked to check their guns at the entrance, apparently a common occurrence at these events. As part of a five-month undercover investigation, the police staged and advertised a wedding on a Friday night, figuring it was easier to make drug suspects come to them than to round them up. The groom was an undercover investigator, the bride a Flint police officer, and the bride's father (and reputed crime boss) was the police chief. That evening, after the vows, the toasts, and the dancing, the band, called SPOC, or COPS spelled backward, played "Fought the Law," setting off the cue for the evening's real agenda. All the police officers were then asked to stand, and those who remained seated were arrested. A dozen suspects were booked and, by Saturday afternoon, 16 were in custody.
Portions of this story were excerpted from Forbidden Knowledge, which is available from our store.



Do Ad Messages Have a 
Credibility Problem?

'Advertising today is a truth-free zone,' Baskin tells ASRC By Katy Bachman

Noted critic of marketing Jonathan Salem Baskin will talk about how advertising is losing its credibility to anyone who will listen to him, he says, including a room full of marketing and advertising attorneys.
While that might seem like a disconnect, Baskin and the advertising lawyers he addressed Tuesday at the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s conference in New York share a similar mission: to bring truth and accuracy in advertising.

“It’s not just a compliance issue,” says Baskin, an author of six books, including Branding Only Works on Cattle and Tell the Truth: Honesty is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool. “As the folks who care about accuracy and are tasked with substantiating claims, you have a role to play.” 

The trouble with today’s ads is that they don’t make the ad useful for consumers by providing them with information they need about the product.

“We slice and dice the truth, without necessarily communicating the rest of the truth. We’ve also embellished it. Sometimes we ignore it completely,” Baskin said. “Advertising today is a truth-free zone.”
As a result no one should be surprised, Baskin explained, that a recent Nielsen study found that half of the public doesn’t believe advertising messages.

So what’s a good ad? Baskin offered several examples.
First, it should point out a functional benefit. As a positive example, Baskin brought up a Tum's ad from a few years ago showing a guy trying to eat a chicken wing, but the food kept slapping his face. “Is your food fighting you?” the ad asked. The ad got right to the point, which Baskin appreciates.
“Tum’s is not a lifestyle choice,” Baskin noted.

Ads should also seek more affirmation from third parties, like Clorox did for its “Green Works” product line, which partnered for the launch with the Sierra Club.

“I don’t know why we don’t do this on everything we sell to the public,” Baskin said. Why, for example, didn’t Dawn dishwashing liquid seek a partner for its ads showing oil-soiled ducks being washed with it? Why doesn’t Chipotle have a third party verify its steroid-free beef claims?

Ads should inform and set expectations. 24 Fitness in Los Angeles decided to come clean about gym memberships, telling consumers that joining a gym won’t make you look great automatically; it also takes diet and exercise.
Perhaps, Baskin suggested, ad creatives are focused on the wrong goal.

“Ads aren’t supposed to win awards. You aren’t supposed to like them. They are not entertainment. Likability has no correlation to brand and sales success. We have to make them meaningful, relevant and useful,” Baskin said.

Tell that to any creative director, and they'll give you an earful of counter-arguments to Baskin's last point.
Noted critic of marketing Jonathan Salem Baskin will talk about how advertising is losing its credibility to anyone who will listen to him, he says, including a room full of…

October 1, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT


"USNews & World Report"

The Truth About 
False and Deceptive Advertising
How to keep ads from getting the best of you (and your wallet)

By Sienna Kossman
July 22, 2013

Whether on the television, radio or city bus, consumers face a barrage of advertisements throughout the day. Amidst the enticing slogans and images, it can be hard to tell which products and services are really worth the hype – and which could lead to shopper's remorse.
Before you dial that 800 number or checkout your online shopping cart, consumer protection experts advise taking a moment to educate yourself about what exactly you are (or are not) buying. There's more to advertising than you might think, and understanding exactly how advertisers attract consumers can alert you to potential deceit.
How advertisers draw you in. Advertising is a combination of marketing and science, or neuromarketing, according to Martin Lindstrom, author of the New York Times best-seller "Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy," which details his study of how ads affect consumers. Advertisements operate on two tracks: the conscious, using information you can read and understand, and, more commonly, the subconscious, using information and techniques that you are not clearly aware of. "Seventy-five percent of everything you and I do every day takes place in our subconscious mind," Lindstrom says. "In my opinion, advertising industries are doing pretty well in terms of drawing us in. Most of us think we are deeply rational but we are really not."
Subconscious advertisement techniques can include making soda poured over ice in a glass have a high amount of bubbles or increasing the noise of a steak sizzling on a grill. "It triggers our craving instinct," Lindstrom says. "It's the same spot in your brain that's activated when you are gambling, hungry for chocolate or jogging."
Even if consumers aren't giving an advertisement 100 percent of their attention, that doesn't mean the ad's message doesn't get through. "For example, most people don't watch TV commercials anymore, [they] listen to them," Lindstrom says. "Because you are not directly focused on the screen, your critical senses are dialed down and you are much more affected by the messages because you let everything come on board."
Another common subconscious advertising technique is creating a sense of urgency. "The ads that are getting the most attention and are most successful are the ones that call consumers to quick action," says Brent Brien, the American Consumer Protection Group's senior vice president of enforcement. "When people feel there is a sense of urgency, they don't process or scrutinize information correctly."
Advertisers also reap benefits by igniting fear in consumers. "We are hardwired to override any other behavior when fear comes into the equation," Lindstrom says. Sending an audience the right message at the right time, also called contextual advertising, helps create consumer fear. For example, a home insurance company could purchase printed ad space near a story about wildfires. "You may think that it is pure coincidence, but it's not," Lindstrom says. The variety of mediums advertisers use can make contextual messages more advanced, as companies begin to feed off consumers' social media profiles and Internet activity.
What to watch for. There are three general types of companies that engage in deceptive advertising practices, according to Brien. "'Fraud-by-night companies are generally just outright frauds and are gone in a month or two after they take what they can," Brien says. "We believe those companies are the most harmful to consumers and the marketplace. There are also companies that have been around for a little while and aren't really widely known, but engage in massively deceptive behavior and until government entities take notice, they can operate like that for years. The third type is made up of larger companies practicing hidden deceptive behavior where consumers generally can't file litigation action themselves because they don't have the resources to uncover the deception."

Regardless of what kind of company produces it, an ad that claims its product or service will make something overly simple or cause the consumer to quickly build wealth could be a "tip off to a rip off," according to Mary Engle, head of the Federal Trade Commission's Advertising Practices Division. "In areas like weight loss and exercise, consumers should be suspicious of any claim that says fast or easy," Engle says. "The company may have a small study or rely on some science, but the claims are so greatly exaggerated beyond what the product can actually do."
Consumers should also be wary of advertised financial services that promise to quickly reduce financial burdens such as a mortgage or other debt. "Most of the problems we see there are that they are just false rip-offs, and all they want to do is get your financial information," Engle says. Also pay close attention to testimonials from people who have had extraordinary results. "Is that really representative of what consumers will get or is this a one-in-a-million example?" Engle says.
"Advertising shouldn't be deceptive and if [ads] use disclosures, they have to be clear and prominent," Engle says. "And what that means is that if it is on the screen or presented in audio, it needs to be big and clear enough so that a consumer will notice and have time to read and comprehend it. If it's just a blur on the screen, they are pretty much saying 'but not really' in the fine print."
Lastly, pay attention to advertised money-back guarantees and the claims they make. "We settled a case last year with this product called the Ab Circle Pro, an abdominal exercise device," Engle says. "For three minutes a day, you were supposed to work out with this product and get nice abs. Their claim was 'Lose 10 pounds in two weeks or your money back.' To us, they were claiming that users were going to lose 10 pounds in two weeks." Companies willing to lie about products may also be more likely to lie about money-back guarantees, so take caution, she adds.
How you can take action. Experts recommend researching the items that catch your eye before making any investments to protect yourself from deception. Be sure to turn to trusted and reliable organizations. "You can go online and look at product reviews, but be careful because we have seen that some companies will put up websites that appear to be independent reviews," Engle says. "You can get a sense for the place or the product, but you should be skeptical of the ones that are the most or least glowing." The Federal Trade Commission has a host of readily available consumer-protection information about what to look for in ads based on past cases and general reports.
Consumers who feel they have been deceived by an advertised product or service have several ways to help right the wrong. Individuals can complain to the FTC either through an online complaint form or by calling the organization directly. Additionally, they should complain to the Better Business Bureau, "and complain to the company, which should actually be the first step because legitimate companies are going to respond to consumer complaints, while most frauds will not," Engle says.
Many industry-specific products and services are regulated outside the FTC, so if a consumer is interested in making sure others are not scammed in the future, Brien suggests going to the designated regulating agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Transportation. State attorney generals will enforce Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices regulatory proposals, although the extent may vary among states.

Engle's final piece of advice? "Look for advice from reliable organizations, do business with companies you know and trust, and complain if you don't get what is offered."

"USNews & World Report"

Now that we are aware of all the unscrupulous tactics used by some companies and advertisers trying to sell us their products, hopefully we may avoid an unpleasant experience in the future.  With more outlets for advertising today than ever before the Internet has emerged as the most likely source for deceptive advertising.  With the webs growing engagement in the world of advertising we are seeing more new and innovative avenues used by manufactures and companies getting our attention.  Everything from “Pop-Ups” to emails and now even “EBAY”, they’re all spending big Dollars to get our attention and sell – sell – sell!

Maybe in the end, "Jack In The Box" is teaching us a life lesson with their unsavory Taco's. Be careful of everything you buy in life.  Every thing from your Home purchase, Cars, Insurances and everything else in between and avoid those products and services which seem to good to be true. Even the politicians we vote for!  Like the vintage children's toy by the same name - what pops out of the pretty box painted with all the bright colors as we have turned the crank playing that little melody may scare us to death!

Here at “Noodleman” every reader is safe from the advertising which constantly bombards us every second of the waking day!  We feel relieved that our publication is an “Ad free” zone and safe for all to read.  This has been Felicity Blaze Noodleman writing for the Noodleman Group. 

A theory as to the origin of the jack-in-the-box is that it comes from the 13th century English prelate Sir John Schorne, who is often pictured holding a boot with a devil in it. According to folklore, he once cast the devil into a boot to protect the village of North Marston inBuckinghamshire.

This week we're launching a new feature on "Noodleman" to assist our readers with further reading on our subject of the week!

  1. False advertising - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into ...


    Section 5 of the FTC Act declares unfair or deceptive acts or practices unlawful. Section 12 specifically prohibits false ads likely to induce the purchase of food,  ...

  3. The Truth About False and Deceptive Advertising - US News and ... › Money › Personal Finance

    Jul 22, 2013 - How to keep ads from getting the best of you (and your wallet).

  4. False Advertising - Legal Dictionary - The Free Dictionary

    False Advertising. "Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial ...

  5. RCW 9.04.050: False, misleading, deceptive advertising. › RCWs › Title 9 › Chapter 9.04

    It shall be unlawful for any person to publish, disseminate or display, or cause directly or indirectly, to be published, disseminated or displayed in any manner or ...
  6. Images for False & Deceptive Advertising

     - Report images

  7. Articles about False Advertising - Los Angeles Times › Collections

    False Advertising News. Find breaking news, commentary, and archival information about False Advertising From The Los Angeles Times.
  8. [PDF]

    False Advertising -

    FALSEADVERTISING. How to Spot It and What You Can Do About It. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs ...

  9. Avoid Unlawful Advertising: Seven Rules for Your Business | › ... › Sales & Marketing › Marketing & Advertising

    If your ad is deceptive, you'll face legal problems even if you have the best intentions in the world. In addition, if your ad contains a false statement, you have  ...

  10. False and Misleading Advertising | Jacoby and Meyers Law Offices

    False advertising is any published claim that is deceptive or untruthful. Misleading advertising is any published claim that gives a consumer an incorrect  ...
  11. [PPT]

    False & Deceptive Advertising - Njit

    False Advertising –Advertising using statements in the form of unverified facts.Deceptive Advertising – Advertising that is used to mislead consumers using ...
  12. News for False & Deceptive Advertising

    1. The Hill (blog) ‎- 1 day ago
      Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is criticizing Obama's promise that people could keep their health insurance.
    1.‎ - 1 day ago

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* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

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