Truth in Advertising is a law that requires advertisers to tell the truth about the products they are selling. In other words, an ad must not be misleading or deceptive.
Truth in Advertising was originally enacted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1913 and it has been modified many times since then. The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 gives the FTC the authority to regulate advertising.
The FTC’s mission is “to protect consumers by preventing fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.” Its primary tool is the enforcement of its trade regulation rules, which prohibits deceptive and unfair advertising.
The FTC has authority over most forms of advertising, whether it appears in print, on radio or television or on billboards.
There are some exceptions to Truth in Advertising laws. For example, when an ad for a good or service is addressed directly to consumers who are known to need special treatment or information because of their particular circumstances, such as their age or physical condition. This exception applies only if the ad does not deceive reasonable consumers about the product being advertised.