What Is Misleading Advertising? Definition of Misleading Advertising, Misleading Advertising Meaning and Concept
Misleading advertising is a form of advertising that usually includes wrong or clearly false information about a particular good or service, with the intention of generating confusion in the public and altering their behavior as a consumer .
Objectives of misleading advertising
Through the use of misleading advertising , as its name suggests, the deception of the public is pursued so that it forms an idea of the good or service that is far from reality.
When carrying out the advertising campaign , certain aspects of the product are highlighted to draw the attention of the potential consumer and thus increase the level of sales. However, this is done in an unfair way by highlighting certain characteristics that do not match the reality of what is offered on the market.
Examples of misleading advertising
One of the simplest and most useful examples when it comes to understanding this practice is in the advertising of fast food restaurants. In these, hamburgers are very appealing to the eye, large and with multiple ingredients. Then, when ordering this product in the establishment, the comparison between reality and what is advertised is often lopsided.
The omission of certain data or characteristics of the product is also understood as misleading advertising. An example is advertising a car highlighting multiple extras and services that are not included by default when buying said car. In this sense, misleading advertising, since this has not been indicated in the advertising space.
Forms of misleading advertising
There are numerous ways to carry out advertising that is misleading, these are the main ones:
- Advertising with terms that can mean different things and lead to confusion to the buyer, changing their perception of the product.
- Use misleading dates in the form of promotions to urge the customer to make their purchase decision and then this period of time is not so short and so urgent is necessary.
- Omit the additional costs of the product or other important data, or include them in a practically hidden or unintelligible way. A clear example are those occasions in which the amount of VAT is not included in the final prices of the products. Or not mentioning permanence clauses in contracts, especially in mobile telephony.
- Failure to report complementary and necessary products for the enjoyment of the main good, such as in the case of a decoder in pay television services.
Often the use of misleading advertising is also a way of harming competitors and rivals in a market, making a product in question stand out from its competitors by taking advantage of advertising campaigns of a misleading nature and that affect the decision-making power of consumers , who choose for a product that is not exposed in a sincere way in front of other equivalents that are probably advertised in a loyal way and closer to reality.
In that sense, it is usual in almost all the countries of the world to have consistent and strict legislation with this type of marketing practices and that focus on defending the interests of consumers and governing competition in the markets.