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In the United States, as in most developed countries, there is an implied contract between seller and buyer.
In the words of the FTC's Statement on Deception, "When a product is sold, there is an implied representation that the product is fit for the purposes for which it is sold." This means that if the manufacturer advertises a product as baking powder, it must be baking powder, not talcum powder or even one of baking powder's active ingredients, baking soda. Generally, this implied contract is also enforced in most developed countries. Using the specific example of Danish pastries, the FTC found that describing a pastry baked in America as a "Danish" was not deceptive because only very naive people believed that "Danish" meant the pastry had, in fact, been baked in Denmark. "The representation, omission, or practice must be a ‘material' one." This is defined as: Does the deception affect the consumer's behavior, specifically his or her purchasing behavior?
In this paper I present a moral account of the legal notion of deceptive advertising.
I argue that no harmful consequences to the consumer need follow from a deceptive advertisement as such, and I suggest instead that one should focus on the consequences of permitting the practise of deceptive advertising on society as a whole.
This is in part due to several new laws which have been established.
It is doubtful however that much more stringent laws will be put ...
I offer an alternative normative interpretation which aims to draw the line between the advertiser's responsibility and that of the consumer, between misleading and miscomprehension.
I then examine and reject several possible moral grounds for condemning and prohibiting deceptive advertising.
Surveys have also been conducted to tell the amounts of "fraudulent" ads being seen on television and how they fluctuate from year to year.
In the past ten years television ads which make fraudulent claims have "gone down significantly"(miller).