Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Misleading Advertising Definition:

Materially false or misleading representations concerning a product or service.

Related Terms: Consumer Fraud, Consumer Scam

In Canada, misleading advertising is prohibited and is described in a federal statute, the Competition Act at §52:

"No person shall, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the supply or use of a product or for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest, by any means whatever, knowingly or recklessly make a representation to the public that is false or misleading in a material respect....

"(I)t is not necessary to prove that any person was deceived or misled, any member of the public to whom the representation was made was within Canada, or  the representation was made in a place to which the public had access....

"(A) representation that is (a) expressed on an article offered or displayed for sale or its wrapper or container, (b) expressed on anything attached to, inserted in or accompanying an article offered or displayed for sale, its wrapper or container, or anything on which the article is mounted for display or sale, (c) expressed on an in-store or other point-of-purchase display, (d) made in the course of in-store, door-to-door or telephone selling to a person as ultimate user, or (e) contained in or on anything that is sold, sent, delivered, transmitted or made available in any other manner to a member of the public, is deemed to be made to the public by and only by the person who causes the representation to be so expressed, made or contained.....

"(A) person who, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the supply or use of a product or any business interest, supplies to a wholesaler, retailer or other distributor of a product any material or thing that contains a representation of a nature referred to (above) is deemed to have made that representation to the public.

"In a prosecution for a contravention of this section, the general impression conveyed by a representation as well as its literal meaning shall be taken into account in determining whether or not the representation is false or misleading in a material respect."

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