10 Common Advertising Phrases to Avoid and Why


Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of advertising regulations can be tricky. To help you stay compliant with FTC guidelines, here are ten common advertising phrases that you should avoid, along with explanations for why they can be problematic. Remember, always consult with an attorney to ensure your marketing practices align with legal standards. Yeah, it’s getting complicated out there!

  1. Pennies on the Dollar
    • Why Avoid: This phrase implies significant savings without specifying the actual cost or what the savings are based on, potentially misleading consumers about the true value or discount.
  2. For as Little as the Price of a Cup of Coffee Daily
    • Why Avoid: Comparing a product’s cost to a daily trivial expense can trivialize the total cost and mislead consumers about the financial commitment required.
  3. Guaranteed to Work
    • Why Avoid: Absolute guarantees can be misleading if the product doesn’t work for everyone or under all conditions. Claims must be substantiated and not over-promise results.
  4. Risk-Free Trial
    • Why Avoid: This phrase can be misleading if there are hidden costs, restocking fees, or other conditions attached to the trial period that aren’t clearly disclosed.
  5. Lowest Prices Anywhere
    • Why Avoid: Making a superlative claim about having the lowest prices can be deceptive if it can’t be substantiated with evidence across all markets and competitors.
  6. Lose Weight Fast
    • Why Avoid: Health and fitness claims need to be supported by scientific evidence. Promising rapid weight loss can be misleading and potentially harmful if not achievable or safe.
  7. Clinically Proven
    • Why Avoid: This implies that scientific studies back the claim. Without proper and clear substantiation from credible research, this statement can mislead consumers about the efficacy of the product.
  1. Instant Results
    • Why Avoid: Promising immediate results can be deceptive if the product or service doesn’t deliver on that promise for all consumers or in all scenarios.
  2. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
    • Why Avoid: Offering a satisfaction guarantee can be problematic if there are undisclosed conditions or if the company cannot genuinely guarantee satisfaction for all customers.
  3. Free (Without Disclosing Conditions)
    • Why Avoid: Using the word “free” can be deceptive if there are strings attached, such as requiring a purchase or subscription. All conditions and qualifications must be clearly disclosed.

Important Disclaimer! Always Consult an Attorney

First, I’m not a lawyer! Advertising regulations can be complex and subject to change. It’s crucial to regularly consult with an attorney who specializes in advertising law to ensure your marketing practices comply with FTC guidelines and other relevant regulations. Staying informed and proactive can help you avoid legal pitfalls and build trust with your audience.

While I do stay on top of the guidelines, I must admit they can be confusing and not straightforward. Ironically, these laws are meant to simplify things and prevent complications—that’s government for you!While catchy phrases can make your advertisements more appealing, they must always be truthful and transparent. Avoiding misleading statements and consulting legal experts can help you navigate the complexities of advertising regulations. In today’s regulatory environment, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Want peace of mind with your marketing? Connect with us at Gizoom.com to discuss any uncertainties. Let’s make sure your advertising is transparent and compliant. Get in touch and schedule an appointment today!  Wait, can I say “Want peace of mind?” Yes, as it doesn’t over-promise specific results but rather offers a general benefit of feeling secure and confident about compliance.