Substantiation for Advertising Claims

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Sep 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Substantiation for Advertising Claims

Companies making claims about the efficacy of their products must have a reasonable basis for those claims. The claims must be supported prior to publishing of the advertising claim. This is called "substantiation." It has long been a requirement for advertising claims, but has gained more notice in the dynamic world of online advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Substantiation in 1984, which outlined the FTC's view about the requirement for substantiation of advertising claims. Any objective claim about a product represents that the advertiser has a reasonable basis to support that claim. Advertising about health and safety products commonly make these types of claims, and consequently are more likely to be subjected to scrutiny by the FTC. For instance, an advertisement for a green bean supplement might claim that users "lose an average of 15 pounds after taking the supplement for one month." This would be a claim about the efficacy of the supplement. The claim would have to be substantiated. It would have to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. An advertiser's failure to possess prior substantiation for its advertising claims constitutes an unfair and deceptive act or practice in violation of the FTC Act.

Companies advertising supplements and other products that provide health benefits must be careful with meeting the substantiation requirements. It is very easy to exceed the conclusions found in studies and other scientific evidence when developing advertising for the product. If you are in need of assistance in meeting the substantiation claims, please feel free to contact Harmony Law for assistance.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.


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