“Advertising is a legalized lying,” H.G. Wells. As an entrepreneur, you know that you cannot stop spending money on advertising because doing so is like stopping the clock from saving time. If you want to grow and streak ahead, you will have to continuously spend money on advertising to remind people you have not vanished.
Though advertisement is crucial to building a brand, it is essential to make it ethical. False claims can lead to a lawsuit. Many entrepreneurs say that it is impossible to be transparent because otherwise, people will not buy products and services.
For instance, An Olay ad edited the image of a model, Twiggy, to show wrinkle-free eyes using the Olay Definity eye illuminator. The ad campaign brought in over 700 complaints about airbrushing, and in the end, the advertising watchdog banned it in 2009.
Though you think it is hard to sell without making false claims, it can result in a ban and damage your reputation. Unethical advertising differs from an ethical one. The above example is a perfect epitome of unethical advertising because it used falsehoods to deceive people, but ethical advertising uses truth to deceive people.
How can you avoid misleading advertising claims?
Misleading advertisements can take you to court. This is why it is crucial to avoid misleading statements in your ad campaigns.
- Choose words wisely
When it comes to making your advertising campaign successful, you should choose words wisely. For instance, when you advertise a supplement and say “get an instant result,” you will naturally end up with a barrage of backlash.
Of course, no dietary supplements can give you instant results. This is purely spurious. Likewise, you should not say “All-natural ingredients” when you have used synthetic ingredients too.
The best example to understand it is the Sting energy drink by PepsiCo. They advertise a guy flooded with energy as he drinks it, a true nature of the drink.
Advertising is unethical when you make false promises. Still, it is not unethical when the whole ad revolves around that single element hiding others that can harm the reputation of your product.
It means when you sell a supplement that uses both natural and synthetic ingredients, you should target one natural ingredient in your ad to tell how that can benefit your users instead of saying “all-natural.”
- Make expectations clear
It is not just words that create problems for your advertising campaign. Most of the time, you tell the true nature of your product (what it can do for your target audience), but you fail to say to them the results may vary by individuals. This is common with drugs, dietary supplements, and skincare products at large.
For instance, when you sell a night cream with the statement “start getting results in 5 weeks”, you need to clear expectations of users. Your target audience may assume that they all can get results within five weeks, and when they do not get, they will mark it as a bogus claim and file a lawsuit.
For instance, if you know your cream is suitable only for a particular type of skin, you should reflect it in your advertising. If you do not want to tell this fact straight away, you should try to disclose it indirectly. This can prevent you from a sue.
- Have evidence to back up claims
Stop making claims in the air if you do not want to be caught up in the lawsuit. It is suggested that you have evidence to support your claims. Of course, you do not need to show them in your ad, but they can help you save when a problem arises.
For instance, if you have been selling supplements and skincare products, clinical trials can work as extraordinary evidence to support your claims. You should be very careful about the choice of words that you use to attract the attention of your target audience.
Even though you have a backup, it does not mean that you will make sham claims. All your claims are relevant as long as they can be backed up by clinical trials or other evidence. Otherwise, you cannot escape lawsuits.
- Use disclaimers
For most advertisement campaigns, disclaimers are not essential. Still, it becomes necessary to rattle off the terms and conditions to avoid any problems down the line when it comes to the lending industry.
For instance, if you are selling insurance or different types of loans, you can advertise them using terms like “minimum premium” and “lower interest rates,” but you will have to reveal in the disclaimer that “it can be subject to market risks” and “interest rates differ by your credit score.”
Running a disclaimer after the advertisement of your product can be beneficial to your campaign.
- Beware of making mistakes unintentionally
Sometimes you may use a term in your advertisement campaign that can invite a lot of criticism. Whether you do it on purpose or by mistake, you will end up paying a massive penalty in court.
Sometimes unnecessary adjectives can catch you on the wrong foot. Make sure that there is clear communication between you and the marketing staff.
Check before you run the ad. It is always suggested that you hire a marketing expert who can help you abide by ethical guidelines. In case you lack money, you can apply for loans like Provident no credit check.
You may get doorstep service while availing of these loans. Your lender will send its agent to your home, where you process the loan. Once everything is done, you may get funds on the same day for your business exploring among the your niche audience. Such type of business idea can build credibility for your customers.
To avoid misleading advertising claims, you need to be honest. Learn how you can use ethical marketing methods to run such campaigns. You can twist the truth or hide the truth, but you cannot lie. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you will be able to run your ad campaign without asking for trouble.