About 15 years ago my company learned some hard lessons about the law and advertising. We said something in our ad that we should not have said. It turns out there is something called the Lanham act that allows competitors to bring suit for false advertising. That is exactly what happened to us. Christine Lebrón-Dykeman of McKee Voorhees and Sease recently wrote a very good article about this exact situation in their newsletter. It turns out there are several valid reasons a private party can do this:
- The advertiser made false statements of fact about their product
- The Advertisements are or could be deceptive
- There was a material deception
- The product was sold in interstate commerce
- The party bringing the lawsuit was injured or would be injured.
The damages can be extensive. Before advertising, make sure you read this (the article begins on page 3 of the newsletter). It is a very good read.