Examples of False Advertising in the News

Americans are inundated daily by advertisements telling them why this company’s product or service is the best. However, sometimes this advertising can be false or misleading. Here are some examples of false advertising in the news.



For several years, VW deceived environmentally conscious drivers in order to sell their diesel automobiles based on claims the vehicles were “greener” than other vehicles. 

In the fall of 2015, an independent emission testing group called The International Council on Clean Transportation challenged VW’s emission claims. 

Sure enough, it turned out that VW had been rigging their test vehicles with sophisticated computer software to purposely deceive emission control regulators. 

As a result, VW had to pay billions of dollars in fines and recalled 1000’s of vehicles from dealerships across the U.S.  



Roughly 8 years ago, cosmetic giant L’Oreal preyed upon human vanity by running TV and print ads claiming that its skincare products could reverse the aging process by altering one’s genetic “makeup”. 

L’Oreal ads specifically mentioned that users could get “visibly younger skin in just 7 days”. 

Unfortunately, those claims had no basis supported b scientific evidence, and accordingly,  L’Oreal executives were forced to pull the ads amidst the controversy. 


The Honest Company 

Remember when actress Jessica Alba left Hollywood to start The Honest Company? 

Soon thereafter, the company began selling a line of purportedly non-toxic, eco-friendly home consumer soap and detergent products advertised as being organic. 

However, a 2016 Wall Street Journal investigation of one of The Honest Company’s detergents found that it actually contained a toxic chemical. 

The company settled a class-action lawsuit, paying over $1.5 million in fines and issuing $50 rebates to customers who had already purchased the subject product.  



Snapchat was first launched claiming that photos sent to others using their mobile application “disappeared” soon thereafter. 

However, in 2014 these claims were challenged by federal regulators after it was discovered that “deleted” Snapchat photos could easily be recovered by tech-savvy individuals.

Under the terms of a court settlement, Snapchat was ordered to tell consumers that these pictures were not permanently deleted, pay a hefty fine, and agree to have their privacy policies monitored by an independent company. 


General Mills 

Did you ever Strawberry Naturally Flavored Fruit Roll-Ups because they contained “real strawberries”? 

If so, you weren’t the only consumer who was misled. 

In the fall of 2012, a California mother partnered with a Washington, D.C. based consumer advocacy group to challenge General Mills’ assertions that there were natural strawberry ingredients in their Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups. 

Test results revealed that the product contained no actual strawberries. 

A federal judge in California then ordered General Mills to remove any strawberry depictions from the product’s packaging, and further, to also stop advertising that the fruit-flavored snack contained natural strawberries. 


Were You Victimized by False or Misleading Advertising?

Advertising is a $200 billion per year industry in the U.S. alone. 

Federal and state consumer protection laws clearly define what types of advertising claims are lawful, and which types of claims are not.  

These examples only represent a small portion of impacted consumers and only a small portion of the many examples of false advertising in the news.

If you or a loved one feel that you were victimized by untruthful advertising in relation to purchasing a property, good, or service, we would like to hear about your experiences. 

For more information on this topic, or to speak with us, please contact Forrest LaMothe today to schedule a FREE, no-commitment consultation and case review with one of our consumer protection attorneys. To reach the law offices of Forrest LaMothe now, please call us toll-free at 877-599-8890