Think you’re a victim of Equinox false advertising? You may have legal options.
False advertising, sometimes known as misleading advertising, is any instance where a company uses misleading or false information to promote a product or a service.
The rules about deceptive marketing and false advertising can be found in a collection of state and federal consumer protection laws. Most laws, however, are governed by The Federal Trade Commission Act, which established the FTC in 1914, and has a section that has become known as “truth in advertising” rules. These rules give the FTC jurisdiction to respond to complaints about false advertising from individuals or businesses. This can include situations outlined here, where companies:
Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.
There are many different types of false advertising as defined by the FTC. The most common of which include things like mislabeling where a company prints misleading or false information on their packaging or makes a false claim about whether a product is biodegradable or organic.
That depends on the severity of the false advertising or misleading advertising. Sometimes the FTC will fine Equinox, or an individual depending on who was at fault. Sometimes they send the equivalent of a cease and desist notice, effectively telling the company not to continue with their misleading tactics. Other times it is a large fine, jail time, or serious lawsuits.
Things got wildly out of hand with one Equinox ad. In an odd case, a lawyer said the steamy ads led to false claims. Their ad running from 2016 to 2017 said “commit to something” and showed five people who were all but naked, entwined on a bed, in what the lawsuit contends is, “engaging in what could only be described as an ‘orgy’”. A similar ad used the language “Equinox made me do it”. For these and countless other ads, the company faced a $10 million lawsuit over promoting its health clubs as places for immoral behavior the result of hyper sexual branding.
Other issues facing Equinox include false advertising in California where the club tried to promote a hotel business that was not part of the gym.
No one actually has to be misled by Equinox for a court to find a company guilty of false advertising or misleading advertising.
So, if you simply see that Equinox was engaging in false advertising, that’s still grounds for you to report them. If you see Equinox using these deceptive practices or you have been taken advantage of, your first step is to submit a consumer complaint to the FTC. The FTC needs to know about these situations so that they can investigate them and take any follow-up action if necessary like fining the company or suing the company. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.
If you have been wronged personally by false advertising, how you can get compensation will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.
If you have lost money it can be very difficult to get the company to respond to you in a time-consuming fashion even if you have filed a complaint with the FTC. So in situations where customer service just isn’t enough to help you get a resolution, you still have other options. One of those is consumer arbitration.
Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than going to court but it can still be a bit confusing because it is a legal process with a fair amount of paperwork. That’s where we can help. FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.
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