Ways businesses use deceptive advertising



Deceptive advertising is bad business practice, yet some business owners or managerial decision makers still opt to engage in this kind of behavior, which is generally considered to be unethical. Those who involve themselves in false presentations are almost always caught and exposed. And, in the end, no one has really benefited from it, not the advertiser and certainly not the consumer.



There are a number of tactics advertisers who lack ethics will use which include not only deceptive advertising, but in some cases, outright fraud.

Bait and switch

A popular approach to deceptive advertising, the bait and switch routine, involves luring customers in on the pretense of a special price, but not having the item available. Chances are there were very limited quantities of the specially-priced item, in some cases, just one or two of the item, and companies skate around the issue by claiming there were items in stock. Not technically a lie, right? Still, unfair and deceptive.

Image credit: Pixabay

Fake testimonials

Sometimes companies will fake testimonials (or pay people to write them) in order to promote a product. People tend to give a lot of attention to the testimonials of others and businesses know this, especially in a digital age where consumers often post information online to share with other consumers.

Image credit: Pixabay



Unfortunately, there is often no way to know when testimonials are faked, and consumers don't know the product or service is flawed until it is too late.

False promises and vague descriptions

Over time, many consumers have been burned by businesses that make promises and then do not honor these assurances. False promises are a problematic type of deceptive advertising to lure people in who expect to make a good purchase with a guarantee.

Image credit: Pixabay
Descriptions that are vague and filled with false promises is a pretty shady type of business practice. There is no substance to back up the promises of how good a product or service is and it offers nothing of value underneath the fluff.

Unsubstantiated claims

One major form of deceptive advertising is to provide unsubstantiated claims. Often an idea is created that is marketable; however, there is no real proof on whether or not it works or is effective. This is a problem in any industry, but especially those that can impact or be dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of others.

Distorted photographs and ad-copy

Much like air-brushed models, some advertisers like to Photoshop their pictures, bait and switch photos, or simply invent one. This goes for ad-copy too. Another form of deceptive advertising is to falsify ad-copy to make statements that only offer half or no truths.
Image credit: Pixabay


Often, when marketers and advertisers engage in shady advertising, they only focus on short term and don't think of the long term consequences; this is a big mistake. Most who do engage in this activity end up harming reputations, losing financially and perhaps even suffering from legal repercussions of unethical business practices.

When the deceptive advertising is brought to the forefront and exposed, it can really hurt a business. It makes one wonder why these kind of fraudulent individuals even bother.

After all, in the long term, no one really benefits from deceptive advertising.

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