Marketing & Misrepresentation*

This is a hilarious and well-watched clip from Judge Judy.

While this is an obvious example of a scam – it makes a broader point. As marketers we often create the initial representation of an offering for sale. We need to understand the legalities of this.

Essentially any contract involves an “offer” and an “acceptance”. I offer to buy X from you for $Y under conditions A, B & C. You than accept this offer or make a counter-offer. Only when an offer or counter-offer is accepted, without revision is there a contract.

A piece of marketing is usually construed by law to be an “invitation to offer”. I advertise that I have X for sale at $Y. You offer to buy X for $Y. I can then decide if I want to accept your offer.

This is a legal principal that dates back to 1892 and is almost global.

That having been said an “invitation to offer” may still considered an integral part of a contract. And if, as a marketing firm, marketing manager, or even a designer, you have produced that “invitation to offer” you may have some legal liabilities.

And so on to the point of this article: it’s important  that marketers understand the legalities of their profession – whether through education, or by finding, appointing and asking questions of a lawyer.

*Disclaimer: nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. It is not a substitute for advice from a Lawyer.

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