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Marketing a Business: Did You Know...?

Did you know one of the most recognizable "traveling" advertisements has been on the road for more than sixty-five years? The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile first took to the streets of Chicago in 1936. Today, there are six high-tech Weinermobiles hot-dogging it around the country. Every business owner knows that marketing is key to growing their business. But some marketing tactics aren't as charming as the Weinermobile. These examples help to illustrate the types of marketing ploys that can get a business in trouble.

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These Businesses Did What?!

  • The first case handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that concerned advertising on the Internet was brought in 1994. In that case, the FTC charged a California man with falsely claiming on American Online that his $99 scheme to repair consumers' credit histories was "100% legal," when in fact, it advocated the use of illegal means.

  • Since 1994 the FTC has brought over 100 enforcement actions to stop fraud and deception online.

  • The FTC has previously imposed a penalty of over $300,000 on a company that failed to disclose that its "Money-Back Guarantee" did not include shipping and handling charges incurred in sending the product back and forth between the company and the buyer.

  • Campbell's Soup Company was charged with using deceptive demonstrations when it placed marbles in the bottom of a soup bowl so that the soup's ingredients would rise to the surface, making it look chock-full of goodness, but forgot to inform consumers about the "added ingredient" marbles.

  • The FTC has a "Cooling-Off-Rule" which states that if a consumer buys a product or service in their home or at a location which is not the main, or permanent, place of business or local address of the seller the consumer has three days in which to cancel the purchase with no obligation if it was for $25 or more. There are a few exceptions.

Market Your Business the Right Way

FindLaw's DIY business formation services can help you get started with your new business. But when questions arise, and there's a lot on the line, it's best to consult with a local small business attorney. They can help you ensure you stay on the right side of the law while growing your business. 


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