Advertisers commonly use “up to” claims in their marketing campaigns to tout the maximum benefit a consumer may achieve from a product or sale. Until earlier this year, the accepted industry standard for such claims was as follows: An advertisement is not deceptive or misleading as long as 10 percent of consumers are able to achieve the maximum results advertised and others are able to achieve results in the middle of what is advertised. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) actions in 2012 whittled away at this standard.
In February 2012, the FTC announced the settlement of cases against five companies that sell replacement windows. The cases stemmed from exaggerated and unsupported claims the companies made about the energy efficiency of their windows and the amount of money consumers could save on energy bills by purchasing them. The companies involved were Gorell Enterprises, Inc., Long Fence & Home, LLLP, Serious Energy, Inc., THV Holdings LLC and Winchester Industries.