The Issue: In October of 2010, after witnessing a sea of pink, over shadow the football game in play, I became very curious to understand exactly how much the National Football League contributed to breast cancer foundations and charities. It became uncomfortable to think of the potential (and enormous) profit being made by a league intentionally manipulating the emotion filled stadium of survivors, their family, and their friends in the name of corporate greed.
The Violation: Deceptive advertising refers to the use of confusing or untrue statements by advertisers in an attempt to mislead the consumer. Also known as false advertising. In this complaint I will refer to the newest offender in consumer deception as “cause-related marketing campaigns”. This marketing technique lures the consumer into making an emotional purchase with the promise that a charitable contribution will be made as a result of their investment. Terms like “net proceeds” and “a portion of the proceeds” are often used to disguise the truth of the vendor’s actions. Corporations are free to use such benign language without consequence. By definition this is confusing, misleading and a clear violation of consumer rights.
The Answer: Truth in labeling is a concept in advertising and consumer law that mandates that all-important information consumer should be printed on the label of a product. Cause-related marketing campaigns should not be exempt from this requirement
Federal laws exist not only to protect consumers from false advertisement but also to hold those claiming to participate in charitable fundraising accountable. This petition is a vehicle to remind those who feel immune to statute that consumers will not tolerate the disregard and neglect to their right to be informed.
Furthermore, those who support this petition demand transparency, accountability, and action to be taken to protect their investment in your brand and your implied promise to share that investment with the breast cancer community.