Marketing Law relates to the statutes, case law, and rules and regulations pertaining to the prevention of consumer harm resulting from deceptive marketing practices related to the sale of goods and services. These laws tend to be particularly strict with regard to food products, drugs, medical devices, and financial matters.
Marketing and advertising are essentially the ways one gets information about a product or service to the general public and is the key to success for many businesses. But, every businesses has a legal obligation to ensure that those marketing and advertising materials are truthful and not deceptive or otherwise a violation of the law.
Federal Trade Commission
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing and regulating advertisers and promulgates much of the marketing law on the books today. FTC regulations relate to most aspects of marketing, such as how one labels a product, how a business conducts email and telemarketing campaigns, the veracity of health or "green" claims made on products, and how products are marketed to children.
Truth in Advertising
Truth in advertising refers to the body of law governing truthful marketing. These laws concern matters such as:
Product Endorsements - requirements that endorsements be truthful and, in the case of celebrity endorsements, that the celebrity have actually used the product.
Advertising to Children - rules designed to prevent misleading impressionable young people.
"Made in the USA" labels - regulations of how much of a product must be created in the United States in order to bear such a label.
Health Claims - rules regarding the claimed effects for products like weight loss drugs, anti-aging products, supplements, and other products.
Environmental Impact - Rules related to the claims of environmental impact or benefit of a product, such as the content of recycled material for a product to be called recycled.
Another significant area of marketing law pertains to telemarketing. Much of this industry has been curtailed in recent years by the enactment of the National Do Not Call Registry and other laws. However, telemarketing still remains a means of marketing for some business sectors and these laws regulate how those working in this sector must govern their affairs.
A more recent area of legal concern in marketing has been the proliferation of junk email, or "SPAM." These are unsolicited messages, usually designed for advertising purposes, and often related to products or services in which the recipient has little or no interest or which could be considered offensive. These laws are very specific about what an email marketer must and must not do in order to avoid running afoul of FTC regulations.For more information about Marketing Law, you can review the materials below or contact an attorney. You can find attorneys in your area who can assist you with your legal questions on our Law Firms page.
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Articles on HG.org Related to Marketing Law
- Internet Marketing Law - FTC and Advertising RulesMarketing and Advertising on the Internet is subject to the same laws as any other medium. Sometimes people do not follow those rules, and the FTC or State AG is involved.