Governments Role in Consumer Protection & Advertising

2633 Words Nov 14th, 2011 11 Pages
U.S. Governments Role in Consumer Protection & Advertising The United States government has continued to grow in size and influence, its effect on marketing is no exception. Consumer protection and product safety include the efforts made by government, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals to create, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers who buy products or services. This may also be identified as consumerism, or the organized efforts of individuals, groups, and organizations to protect the rights of consumers (Pride102). Consumer protection was brought upon through several medians, but is primarily attributed to background legislation. The first major federal law to affect the marketing environment was the …show more content…
Following the creation of the pure food and drug act, the major succeeding legislation was the formation of the Federal Trade Commission, by way of the FTC Act of 1914. The FTC is the primary, but not the sole, consumer protection agency at the federal level and oversees an array of consumer protection laws. The principal goal is to afford customers a deception-free marketplace and provide the highest-quality products at competitive prices. The FTC also ensures that advertising is not false or misleading. The FTC may also benefit businesses by helping them to understand laws and assess new marketing methods for each year. It also brings businesses together for hearings and conferences to help firms avoid price fixing, deceptive advertising, and questionable telemarketing practices (Pride 76). Succeeding the Sherman and FTC Acts, in 1938 the Wheeler-Lea Act was formed. It prohibits unfair and deceptive acts and practices regardless of whether competition is injured, and also placed advertising of food and drugs under the jurisdiction of the FTC. This had a substantial impact, because before this amendment the Federal Trade Commission could only restrict practices that were unfair to competitors. This allowed the FTC to administer the protection of consumers as well. The government continued its provisions in 1938, when Congress enacted the
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