2016 Florida Statutes
Misleading advertising prohibited.
Misleading advertising prohibited.
817.41 Misleading advertising prohibited.—
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the general public of the state, or any portion thereof, any misleading advertisement. Such making or dissemination of misleading advertising shall constitute and is hereby declared to be fraudulent and unlawful, designed and intended for obtaining money or property under false pretenses.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to advertise, in any way or by any medium whatsoever, any sale as a “wholesale sale,” “below cost sale,” or terms of similar purport, unless the goods, wares or merchandise offered for sale thereby are offered by the seller at or below his or her delivered net cost price, or below the average wholesale price of such goods, wares, or merchandise. Such advertising of goods, wares, or merchandise for sale shall constitute and is hereby declared to be fraudulent and unlawful, designed and intended for obtaining money or property under false pretenses.
(3) Any retailer using the term or phrase “wholesale sale,” “below cost sale,” or terms of similar purport, in connection with the sale of goods, wares, or merchandise at retail, shall, upon demand by a customer, forthwith make available, unless the same shall have theretofore been made available, to the Better Business Bureau, the Merchant’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, or to the state attorney’s office for inspection, invoices, or shipping charges or true and correct copies thereof, of any goods, wares, or merchandise so offered for sale, described or represented, indicating the delivery net cost to the seller of the particular goods, wares or merchandise sold or offered for sale, from which the seller’s delivered net cost may be determined. The said retailer shall also and at the same time give all reasonable assistance in determining and ascertaining his or her net cost price of said goods, wares, or merchandise. The said Better Business Bureau, Merchant’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce or state attorney, upon determining the said delivered net cost, shall forthwith issue a certificate evidencing such delivered net cost, as determined, and deliver the same to the retailer for delivery or exhibition to the customer. Unless such certificate shall show a delivered net cost equal to or in excess of the advertised price, the retailer shall be presumed to have violated this law.
(4) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person named in or obtaining the benefits of any misleading advertisement or any such sale is responsible for such misleading advertisement or unlawful sale.
(5) No retailer shall knowingly and willfully advertise merchandise for sale at a special or wholesale price, in any way or by any medium whatsoever, if he or she does not have sufficient quantities of the advertised merchandise to meet the reasonably foreseeable demand, unless the fact of limited quantity and the approximate number of items is stated in the advertisement, or unless the retailer provides a means by which the consumer may obtain the advertised item at the advertised price within a reasonable time or a value equivalent thereto.
(6) Any person prevailing in a civil action for violation of this section shall be awarded costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, and may be awarded punitive damages in addition to actual damages proven. This provision is in addition to any other remedies prescribed by law.
History.—s. 2, ch. 59-301; s. 1, ch. 73-60; s. 2, ch. 77-304; s. 1258, ch. 97-102.