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Substantiation in Advertising

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What does it mean to substantiate? In legal terms, to substantiate means to establish the existence or truth of a particular fact through the use of competent evidence – basically to verify the information to see if it’s true. When it comes to advertising, who checks the validity of advertisements and commercials? That would be the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

The FTC was legislatively created to stop unfair practices in the competition of businesses and to protect consumers who engage with those businesses. In the realm of advertising, this means that the FTC wants to prevent businesses from tricking consumers into buying their products by using advertisements that present something other than what the businesses have to offer, or that make claims about their products with no true evidence (or less evidence than the advertisement has led the consumer to believe) supporting those claims.

Some examples of things that require substantiated evidence are:

  • Recommendations from medical professionals
  • citations to studies about the product
  • claims of passed tests and trials

These are all examples of substantiation claims that many advertisements use to gain the trust of consumers. Regardless of whether this sort of information is, or is not, explicitly expressed in the promotion, the content of the advertisement may lead clients to sensibly accept that the information presented is true and place their trust in a product or service, in view of that supposition.

Consumers ought to have the option to use advertisements to find out about products and services, then make informed choices about whether they might want to spend their money without worrying over being tricked into giving up money for something illegitimate. The FTC removes ads and rebuffs ad creators and publishers who distribute erroneous or misleading information.

If you have concerns about whether your marketing and advertising may not be compliant with FTC guidelines, please give us a call at Bolimini International.

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