Part 2: Test your knowledge on how to spot and avoid deceptive marketing
Answering yes to the following question(s) should prompt you to review your promotional content:
- Is the meaning in my marketing content partially false, or have more than one meaning, one of which is false?
- Does my promotional material withhold important information? Is it misleading without this information?
- Do parts of my marketing content, such as the web address or visuals, create a false impression?
- Taken together, do the representations I’ve made have the potential to create a false or misleading impression?
- All of the above
You have found an influential person in your industry who has 100,000 followers on Instagram. This influencer is willing to promote your products in exchange for freebies. What should you do?
- Agree to provide free products for free online promotion on social media and for positive reviews because the rules around marketing don’t apply. After all, if you don’t pay someone, it isn’t really marketing.
- Accept their offer for free promo in exchange for freebies from your business, and ask them not to tell anyone that they are receiving free products. Consider them VIP customers.
- Go ahead but ensure that they clearly disclose the connection they have to your business in every post and review.
Which of these elements of your promotional materials could be considered deceptive if it gives a general impression that is false or misleading?
Which of the following representations are exempt from the law?
When promoting your commercial product or service, it is good practice to:
- Disclose mandatory fees in addition to the advertised price for your product or service only once you’ve attracted a potential customer. After all, it’s a proven sales tactic!
- Hide important information in fine print disclaimers even if it contradicts the main message. You wouldn’t want to scare a potential customer away!
- Ask your friends and family to post reviews about your products or services without disclosing their connection to you and your business.
- Promote a new sale on the same product every week. If you sell enough products, you never need to charge a regular price.
- None of the above.
True or False: The Competition Bureau may pursue deceptive marketing practices as a civil or criminal matter.
True or False: If your marketing content creates a false or misleading general impression, but none of your customers have ever complained, you’re in the clear.
True or False: If you promote a product online where a service fee is attached, you must include the fee in the advertised price.
When you promote a product or service that has a potential benefit, such as improving your customers’ health or helping them lose weight, you can make broad claims about the performance or efficacy of this product or service if:
- You tried it yourself and it seemed to work.
- You are confident that once consumers try it, they will report back that it works, and then you will have the proof you need.
- You have used a reputable lab to conduct testing on your product or service in a controlled environment prior to making the claims.
- You read a study about one of the ingredients in your product having the desired effect, so you assume the results can be applied in a broad way in your marketing material.
When promoting a sale on your product or service, it is important to:
- Always promote a sale if there is no need to charge a regular price to make a profit. Losing potential income makes no business sense.
- Advertise a sale price based on what other companies charge as their regular price, even if you never intend to normally sell your products at their price. It works!
- Base the regular price on a substantial volume of product or service sold at that price, or offered, in good faith, for a substantial period of time at that price or higher.
- Exaggerate the regular price to make the sale price seem like a really good bargain.
Imagine you work as a marketer for a marketing firm that works with businesses to help them promote their products. The company you are currently working with wants you to find a whole bunch of social media ambassadors to promote their new branded product line. The company would like to pay each ambassador on commission based on the number of resulting sales coming from their social media page. Who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the law?