Illegal Internet Marketing Tactics that Businesses Should Avoid and Watch Out for from Competitors
Advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state law. In addition to government regulation, federal and state law provide private causes of action to competitors and consumers. As a result, violations of advertising law may have serious consequences. But advertising is so widespread that much unlawful advertising goes unchecked. The prudent business must then keep an eye out for advertising-law violations by its competitors or suffer a competitive disadvantage. The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight some of the more common unlawful online marketing tactics to help business owners avoid and spot these tactics.
Illegal online marketing tactics are more common because advertising is so prevalent on the internet that much of it is not scrutinized by regulatory authorities, competitors, or the public. As with many things, new advertising concepts outpace legal regulation, but the core concepts of the advertising rules still apply. Methods of advertising online are constantly evolving, and some marketing companies are less than concerned with whether they are unlawful. Further, a business may hire an internet marketing company to assist with advertising without knowing that the methods being used by that company are unlawful. For these reasons, the prudent business owner should keep abreast of online marketing trends, in particular illegal marketing tactics, such as those outlined below.