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10 Companies Caught Making False Claims

Further proof that "all natural" can be one of the most meaningless product buzzwords ever.
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Companies are supposed to advertise their products responsibly, but sometimes items hit store shelves backed by misleading language or unproven claims. And in the end, this hurts consumers who put their trust in these claims, in the form of their hard-earned dollar.

So who are some of the biggest offenders of this less-than-truthful marketing? Come along on our tour of the top products that have all been forced to change how they brand their products, after being sanctioned for misleading advertising — or are expected to be forced to change quite soon.

Why Do Companies Keep Making Dubious Claims?

"Companies do a cost/benefit analysis on rolling out dubious health benefit marketing claims," says Dee Dee Edmondson Esq., a principal at The Nor'Easter Group. "If you have $100 million dollars in sales, are you really worried about a $3 million dollar settlement? It's the cost of doing business. Consumer loyalty doesn't dip as much as people would think."

Edmonson also points out that some consumers just don't care about these false claims, as in the case of Airborne. "Products define people in our society," she explains. "What you eat, what you wear, defines you – and companies know that. People are too busy to pay attention to this blip on the PR screen about these products, or simply don't believe the dissenters about the product because it 'works' for them."

Still, there is hope for consumers, at least according to Bill Shelton, the President / CEO of Left Field Creative. "Today's consumer-powered world now takes brands to task on the slightest hint of over-promising, deception (even if only perceived) and blatant falsehoods," he says. "In today's instant media access world, the balance of power has shifted to consumers and they have fully embraced their influence to control brand marketers and force them to be genuine."

Readers, what false advertising claims have burned you in the past? Tell us what you think in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She's also written for Yahoo! TV and Tapscape. Follow her on Twitter @tuckercummings on Twitter for her musings on tech, TV, writing, and current events.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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6 comments
omalansky
The ugly truth is that "truth in advertising" is the ultimate oxymoron. Advertisers lie every time they open their mouths, and people who believe them are being really stupid.
rumrunner
If people would just look for the lie in the ad, there is always one, they can't seem to tell the truth. And then if people would ask themselves, if that is a blatant lie, how can I trust anything else they are trying to tell me.
Kyser_Soze
#9 reminds me of a joke from the colbert show: "I just tried some of that jamie lee curtis yogurt and you can hardly taste the p00p at all!"
spferdil
The problem is today all companies do the same things, so it isn't like you can go anywhere else and do better. This whole country is just a giant marketing scheme, job one is sell it first, and worry about any problems later.
hubesch
The Whopper picture is great!
But they, and the competition, have been doing that for decades. People don't seem to mind...
icon_st
Good one !!
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