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What is Deceptive Marketing?

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Deceptive Marketing, also called False Advertising is one of the worst forms of marketing that misleads users on the internet. Yes, you read it right! Deceptive Marketing not just promotes goods under false claims but also creates an unrealistic impression of the company in the eyes of the common public. 

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Deceptive marketing uses visual content or information about a product’s actual appearance or features. Deceptive marketing can include fake reviews and testimonials, unfounded predictions and fake promises, exaggeration, and unclear claims, providing rebates, prizes, and free items without giving them, bait advertising, misleading conditions, guarantees, and warranties, depending on disclaimers and fine print, failure to provide disclosure, misleading goods, and services, false representation of business activities, unethical accepting of payment for products and services, other unethical conduct.

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There can be a fine or penalty for deceptive marketing practices among companies if they don’t follow the set of rules and regulations. We will read more examples of deceptive marketing practices below.

1) An advertisement on television quoted a famous celebrity of his state claiming that his daughter had fertility issues and couldn’t conceive a child for many years. The aged celebrity also shared how he approached the IVF fertility treatment centre and got a granddaughter in 9 months period. Although the advertisement was endorsed by the celebrity, many common people assumed that the celebrity is talking about the personal life story of his daughter. The false claims that the celebrity’s daughter suffered from fertility issues actually were misleading to the common public because there was no proper disclaimer below the advertisement.

2) A cafe made a vague claim of being the best coffee maker in the world. However, potential customers didn’t believe this claim without any proof to support the claim such as a certificate or award from an international competition.

3) A mobile phone shopkeeper was approached by a common man who used to live in a rural area. When the shopkeeper asked the man where he stayed, the man was honest about his location. However, the shopkeeper despite knowing that the rural area won’t give him good network coverage decided to sell the costliest phone and SIM card of the mobile network to this innocent man. This is a failure to provide honest disclosure to the audience who trust the company.

Deceptive marketing or false advertising not just affects the pockets of the customers but also leads to bad word-of-mouth publicity if the public gets to know the fault in the products and services. For example, when a jeweler store looted the money of the common public in the name of Recurring Deposits and Fixed Deposits at a higher interest rate but didn’t provide the returns and money when the tenure was completed, it not just created a network of people protesting outside the store, but also an FIR was registered in the police station to take immediate action.

The jeweler store not just attracted a legal offense but also a lot of media publicity was written about the directors of the store in a negative manner. This affected the business leading to the closure and arrest of the directors with no bail.

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