What is misleading advertising?
Under consumer law, an ad is misleading if it has false or deceptive information. Ads can also be misleading if important information is left out.
Misleading advertising covers claims made to consumers by manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It can include content in ads, catalogues, websites, social media, etc.
Examples could include:
- a false claim or impression about the details of a good or service. For example, a product is a different colour to an ad
- misrepresenting the price. For example, advertising a product at sale price when it is not on sale
- misrepresenting your consumer rights. For example, saying your consumer rights do not apply when you buy during a sale
Under consumer law, business must make sure any reviews they show are genuine. They must always take reasonable steps to ensure they come from genuine consumers. Businesses also can’t pay anyone to submit false or misleading reviews, or post false reviews themselves.
What can you do about misleading advertising?
You should contact us if you feel an advertisement is misleading or false. We are responsible for enforcing the rules around advertising in Ireland. We can take action against businesses that we find have misled consumers.
You can also contact:
- the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) about potentially misleading ads. The ASAI is set up by the advertising industry to promote better standards
- the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on the advertisement of food products
- the Central Bank of Ireland on the advertising of credit. Read more information about consumer credit advertising rules from the Citizens Information Board.
Last updated on 28 November 2022