Businesses spend millions of dollars on brand management and advertising in the hopes of making their products seem especially appealing in the eyes of consumers. To that end, ads can use puffery, exaggerating claims and using superlative subjective terms such as “delicious,” “best,” or “perfect.”
While consumers in general expect some overhyping of products, some commercials stray too far, making specific claims that cannot be supported by facts or that are simply false, which is against the law. To varying degrees of success, a number of governmental and private organizations are keeping an eye on ads in an attempt to prevent Americans from buying a product or service under false pretenses.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed reports from the Federal Trade Commission and other consumer advocacy groups for cases of false, misleading, or exaggerated advertisements to determine the most outrageous product claims of all time.
Certain industries tend to have more issues with misleading claims. Dietary supplement businesses frequently exaggerate the health benefits of their products. And over the years, tobacco companies, too, have downplayed the harmful effects of cigarettes for decades. When discovered, false claims can erode the public’s trust in a company and ruin its brand image. These are America’s most hated companies.
Companies whose public images were tarnished after false product claims were brought to light may need a brand reset. One of the most common options for these companies is a name change, which can offer a way to shed the negative associations consumers have with their previous brand. These are some of the most prominent companies who were forced to change their names.
Click here to see the 39 most outrageous product claims of all time
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