The Board has the authority to take action on advertisements that would cause a normally prudent person to misunderstand or to be deceived. The Board is providing the following guidelines to clarify some of the issues concerning certain advertising practices.
- A licensee who is the owner of a practice assumes full and final responsibility for all advertising regardless of the source, e.g. self prepared versus prep ared advertisements.
- Any reference to “years of experience” must pertain to the actu al experience of the specific licensee and not to that of a manufacturer , corporation, or any other collective group of individuals.
- If titles or credentials are in cluded in the advertisement, the licensee must be able to verify that he or she holds a current credential and to document the credentialing process that qualified the individual to use the particular title or credential.
- A product should no longer be called “new” and/or “improved” after 12 months from its introduction.
- If an item is offered at a reference price or free of charge “for a Limite d Time Only”, it must not regularly be available at that reference price or free of charge.
- References to “lifetime” offers must identify the applicable “lifetime”, i.e. life of the hearing aids, life of the consumer , or other applicable lifetime.
- “Special” offers that are repeated in an on-going manner are no longer deemed special and become regular and routine. Such advertising has been deemed misleading.
- A licensee cannot advertise that he or she provides “all major brands” if all major brands are not available to customers for purchase.
Two issues that often come to the Board’s attention concern Bait Advertising and Deceptive Price Advertising. These issues are addressed extensively in the enclosed FT C regulations on “Guides Against Bait Advertising” and “Guides Against Deceptive Pricing”. Please take the time to review the Federal regulations as the Board will expect that all licensees adhere to them.