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False advertising and products liability in Canada

Advertisements are created to sell products and services. But there are times when they're more than just a little embellished. Sometimes they falsely highlight the product or service in an over-the-top pitch to entice further purchases. However, the Competition Act in Canada states that advertising can't be misleading or false, since such ads could lead consumers to buy faulty products which could lead to products liability suits being launched -- one way businesses might be found responsible for making erroneous claims.

Promoting a product falsely could mean ads that are misleading or products are mislabelled or falsely priced. The Competition Act is a federal law regulating how businesses compete against each other. It bans false advertising to the public.

Some other things also forbidden under the act are warranties and guarantees that are misleading, using tests or testimonials that are unauthorized or misleading, double ticketing, bait and switches or selling a product above the advertised price. False advertising can either be dealt with civilly or criminally, depending upon the magnitude of the false claims. A summary conviction could mean a person or business being fined up to $200,000 and/or face prison time up to a year. A conviction based upon an indictable offence could mean prison time up to 14 years and/or a fine imposed by the court.

Citizens of Canada who believe false advertising led them to purchase a product that was injurious may be able to commence a products liability suit against the manufacturer or business owner. A lawyer who is experienced in litigation and appeals law in Canada could help clients to pursue compensation should a lawsuit be warranted. When false advertising leads to injury a seasoned lawyer can help.

 

Source: findlaw.ca, "What is false advertisement?", Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on Oct. 13, 2017

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