Misleading advertising – how does this affect you?

April 27, 2022

When you buy goods and services online or in a shop, you are protected by law. Misleading advertising is when businesses give false information or leave out important information. Misleading advertising is a type of unfair commercial practice which is not allowed. It could mean you buy something you would not have bought otherwise if you had the full or correct information.

Examples of misleading advertising include:

  • False claims about the features of a product. For example, if it is a different colour, size or weight to what is advertised.
  • Misleading information about how the product is supplied. For example, free delivery is advertised, but the delivery actually involves some sort of charge.
  • The business misrepresents itself. For example, they claim to be a member of a trade association, when they are actually not.
  • Important information is hidden or left out.

Beware also of fake reviews. People often rely on consumer reviews of products or services to help them to decide whether to buy. But not all reviews are genuine. Take some time to read some reviews on different forums and websites. Be cautious of reviews that sound like an advertisement. If all the reviews on a site are positive, this can also be cause for suspicion.

You can contact us if you feel an advertisement is misleading or false. The CCPC handles enforcing the rules around businesses advertising in Ireland. We can take action, where appropriate, against businesses we find are misleading consumers.

You can also contact the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI). The ASAI is a self-regulatory body that aims to promote better standards in advertising. It is set up and financed by the advertising industry. The ASAI allows members of the public to complain about possible misleading advertisements.

Return to News

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?