Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Fraudulent Advertisement Consumer Fraud

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Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey court cases, such as those in New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court!!! Do not use this article if you have a New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court case!!! Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule that may apply to your New Jersey case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.

WHAT IS AN “ADVERTISEMENT” UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, an “advertisement" is:
• the attempt (such as by a notice designed to attract public attention);
• made directly or indirectly;
• by publication, dissemination, solicitation, indorsement or circulation; or
• in any other way to induce directly or indirectly any person to enter or not enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise or to increase the consumption thereof or to make any loan.”

ARE THERE LIMITS TO HOLDING PUBLISHERS OF FRAUDULENT ADVERTISEMENTS LIABLE FOR NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS?
There are limits to the types of affirmative misrepresentations that support New Jersey Consumer Fraud
Act Violations. For example, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act does not apply to the owner or
publisher of newspapers, magazines, publications or printed matter wherein such advertisement appears,
or to the owner or operator of a radio or television station which disseminates such advertisement
when they have no knowledge of the advertiser’s intent, design or purpose.

WHAT TYPES OF ADVERTISMENTS GENERALLY VIOLATE THE NEW CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
It is the capacity of an advertisement to mislead, when considered from the standpoint of a reasonable consumer that marks advertisements as violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. For example, even if every sentence of a particular advertisement is literally true, the advertisement as a whole may be completely misleading if it lacks crucial information or is composed or intentionally printed in a way to mislead consumers. Claims that the language of an advertisement is actually accurate shall not constitute a defense to a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim that, to ordinary readers, the advertisement’s overall impression is misleading and deceptive.

SOME ADVERTISEMENTS SPECIFICALLY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and its regulations specifically prohibit many types of false
advertising, including advertisements in the following businesses:

• Automotive Sales.
• Employment Services, Personnel Services & Temporary Help Services.
• Halal Food.
• Information Services.
• Menus & Restaurants.
• Prizewinning Sales.

When a business is required to follow the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act or its regulation’s advertising
requirements and the business fails to do so, such as by omitting information required by the New Jersey
Consumer Fraud Act, the business can be held responsible for a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
violation without proof that the business intended to commit consumer fraud. For example, if an
automobile dealer mistakenly fails to include an automobile’s odometer reading in an advertisement for
the automobile’s sale, such conduct violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

BAIT AND SWITCH ADVERTISING PROHIBITED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
“Bait and switch” advertising deceives customers to visit a merchant’s store or to contact the merchant in the mistaken belief that the merchant intends to sell specific merchandise or services at a specific price. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits merchants from advertising merchandise or services as part of a plan or scheme not to sell the item or service as advertised or not to sell it at the advertised price. The following are some examples of bait and switch advertising that violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:

• a group health insurance plan promised to be a guaranteed-issue policy but the merchant refuses to accept the advertised deductible rate, instead demanding a higher deductible.
• debt relief services that allegedly include stopping sheriff's sales and repossessions but the merchant does not reveal the true nature of its services until after the consumer paid for the services.

ADVERTISEMENTS CONTAINING PRIZE NOTIFICATIONS
If a “prize” is truly a prize, it must strictly be a “gift” rather than something with moneymaking obligations attached to it. A merchant violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act if they notify a person by any means, as part of an advertising plan or scheme, that the person won a prize and requiring the person to do an act, purchase any other item or submit to a sales promotion effort. Examples of prizewinning schemes that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act include the following:

• a merchant sends a New Jersey consumer a letter claiming they are a "sweepstakes prize winner", enclosing a flyer about the prizes, requiring the consumer to indicate their acceptance by forwarding a service charge in return for the prizes and making the resident an offer to purchase merchandise.
• A merchant offers the "prize" of a free vacation to a destination over a thousand miles away that contains a disclaimer that excludes transportation.

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT ADVERTISING PRACTICES REGULATIONS
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs adopted rules to regulate merchants’ general advertising practices. Those rules contain the following definitions:

• "Advertisement" -- any attempt by an advertiser, other than by use of a price tag,
catalog or any offering for the sale of a motor vehicle subject to the requirements of the New Jersey Administrative Code (specifically, N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26A), to directly or indirectly induce the purchase or rental of merchandise at retail, appearing in any newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, in-
store or out-of-store sign or other written matter placed before the consuming public, or
in any radio broadcast, television broadcast, electronic medium or delivered to or
through any computer.

• "Advertiser" -- any person as defined by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale or rental of merchandise at retail and who placed, either directly or through an advertising agency, an advertisement before the public.

• "Catalog" -- a multi-page solicitation in which a seller offers goods for sale or rental for a seasonal or specified period of time, from which consumers can order goods directly without going to the seller's place of business. An advertising circular, distributed through inclusion in a newspaper, representing a seller's partial offering of goods for sale or rental for a period of time not to exceed two weeks, shall not be considered a catalog.

• "Closeout sale" -- a sale in which an advertiser offers for sale at a reduced price items of merchandise remaining at one or more specified locations which the advertiser will not have available for sale within a reasonable period of time after all such items have been sold.

• “Factory outlet" -- an establishment owned by a manufacturer that is used primarily to offer, at retail, the manufacturer's products directly to the consumer for his or her own use and not for resale.

• "Fictitious former price" -- an artificially inflated price for an item or items of merchandise established for the purpose of enabling the advertiser to subsequently offer the item or items at a large reduction.

• "Former price or price range" in a price reduction advertisement -- an advertised price or price range for an item of merchandise that has been offered or sold by the advertiser in his or her trade area or competitors in their trade area.

• "Home appliance" -- any electrical, mechanical or thermal article produced or distributed for sale to a consumer for use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence including, but not limited to, air conditioners, cameras, computers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, electric blankets, electronic games, fans, freezers, motorized kitchen aids, ovens, radios, ranges, refrigerators, stereo equipment, televisions and washers.

• "Merchandise" -- any objects, wares, goods, commodities, services or anything offered directly or indirectly to the public for sale or rental at retail.

• "Multi-tiered pricing" -- a form of offer where the price of merchandise or the extent of a
discount is contingent upon the consumer's merchandise selections, such as the number of units
purchased, the purchase of other merchandise pursuant to the terms of the advertiser's offer, or
the total dollar amount of the consumer's order, for example, "Buy two cans of soda, get a third
can at half price."

• "Percentage-off discount" -- an offer to sell merchandise expressed in terms of a percentage reduction or range of percentage reductions in price, such as "10% off" or "25% to
50% off."

• "Point of display" -- a location within a retail establishment where an item of merchandise is displayed for the purpose of selection by the consumer with the intention of purchase.

• "Point of sale" -- any location in a retail establishment where purchases of merchandise are totaled by a scanner and payment is made by a consumer.

• "Point of sale discount" -- a price reduction which, although it is advertised or posted at the point of display, is automatically applied to reduce the retail price of the merchandise at the time it is scanned for consumer purchase, or a price reduction manually entered through a cash reduction or similar device, then scanned for consumer purchase.

• "Price advertisement" -- any advertisement in which a specific dollar price is stated with regard to specific advertised merchandise.

• "Price reduction advertisement" -- an advertisement which in any way states or suggests directly or indirectly that merchandise is being offered or made available for sale at a price less than that at which it has been routinely sold or offered for sale in the past or at which it will be sold or offered for sale in the future. The following words and terms or their substantial equivalent, when used in any advertisement except when used exclusively as part of the advertiser's corporate, partnership or trade name, shall be deemed to indicate a price reduction advertisement: sale, discount, special savings, price cut, bargain, reduced, prices slashed, clearance, regularly, usually, cut rate, originally, formerly, warehouse or factory clearance, buy one get one free, at cost, below cost, wholesale.

• "Rain check" -- a written statement issued by an advertiser allowing the purchase of designated merchandise at a previously advertised price.

• "Scanner" -- an electronic system that employs a laser bar code reader to retrieve product identity, price and other information stored in computer memory.

• "Targeted discount" -- a price reduction on merchandise which reduction is restricted to customers designated by the advertiser, such as those who possess a card or other device bearing a scanner-readable code issued by the advertiser, a particular type of credit card, or some other device which, when read by the scanner, shall apply the discount at the time of purchase.

• "Trade area" -- that geographical area in which an advertiser solicits or makes a substantial number of sales.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act advertising regulations apply to the following advertisements:

• uttered, issued, printed, disseminated or distributed within the State of New Jersey concerning goods and services advertised as available at locations exclusively within the State of New Jersey.
• issued, printed, disseminated or distributed to any substantial extent within the State of New Jersey concerning goods and services advertised as available at locations within the State of New Jersey and outside the State of New Jersey (except radio and television broadcasts).
• issued, printed, disseminated or distributed primarily within the State of New Jersey concerning goods and services advertised as available at locations exclusively outside the State of New Jersey (except radio and television broadcasts).
• Any radio and television broadcasts uttered, issued, disseminated or distributed primarily within the State of New Jersey and outside the State of New Jersey or at locations exclusively outside the State of New Jersey.

An advertiser, a manufacturer, an advertising agency and the owner or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, billboard or radio or television station acting on behalf of an advertising seller is an advertiser within the meaning of these regulations when they prepare or place an advertisement for publication. However, such an entity is not liable for a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation when they reasonably rely on data, information or materials supplied by an advertising seller for whom the advertisement is prepared or placed or when the violation is caused by an act, error or omission beyond the entity's control, including but not limited to the advertising seller’s post-publication performance. Even though an advertisement is prepared or placed for publication by another entity, the advertiser on whose behalf the advertisement was placed may be liable for a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation related to the regulations. An advertiser is not liable for a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation related to the regulations if the advertiser shows by a preponderance of evidence that the failure to comply resulted from the actions of persons other than the advertiser which were not or should not have been reasonably anticipated by the advertiser; or that such failure was the result of a labor strike or a natural disaster (fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.).

The following advertising practices by a merchant violate the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act advertising regulations:

• Failure to maintain and offer for immediate purchase advertised merchandise in a quantity sufficient to meet reasonably anticipated consumer demand. If an advertisement states a specific period of time during which merchandise will be available for sale, a sufficient quantity of such merchandise shall be made available to meet reasonably anticipated consumer demand during that period. If no stated period appears in the advertisement, a sufficient quantity of merchandise shall be made available to meet reasonably anticipated consumer demand during three consecutive business days from the advertisement’s effective date. However, this requirement does not apply to merchandise advertised:
o On an in-store sign only with no corresponding out-of-store sign;
o As being available in a specific quantity; or
o As being available in a "limited supply," pursuant to a "closeout sale" or pursuant to a "clearance sale" if such offering meets the definition of a closeout sale; or if represented as permanently reduced.
• Failure to specifically designate within an advertisement which merchandise possess special or limiting factors as to price, quality, condition or availability. Examples of such failures include:
o Failure to specifically designate which merchandise items are offered below cost, if any amount less than all advertised items are below cost, when a statement of below cost sales is stated in an advertisement;
o The failure to specifically designate which merchandise items, if any, are damaged or in any way less than first quality condition;
o The failure to specifically designate merchandise as floor models, discontinued models or one of a kind, when applicable;
o The failure to clearly designate or describe the retail outlets at which advertised merchandise will or will not be available but that information isn’t required for in-store advertisements.
• The failure to conspicuously post notice of advertised merchandise, on the business premises to which the advertisement applies, in proximity to the advertised merchandise or at all entrances to the business premises. This notice may consist of a copy of the advertisement or take the form of a tag attached to the merchandise or any sign with such terms as "sale," "as advertised," "20% off."
• In any price advertisement in which a home appliance is offered for sale, failure to disclose the:
o manufacturer's name or the merchandise trade name.
o the model or series number.
o such other information as may be necessary to clearly distinguish the advertised item from other similar merchandise produced by the same manufacturer.
• Use of any type, size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color resulting in the obscuring of any material fact.
• Use of the terms "Public Notice," "Public Sale" or words or terms of similar meaning in any advertisement offering merchandise for sale, where such sale is not required by court order or by operation of law, other than a sale conducted by an auctioneer on behalf of a non-business entity.
• Describing the advertiser through the use of the terms "warehouse," "factory outlet," "discount," "bargain," "clearance," "liquidators," "unclaimed freight," or other words or terms of similar meaning, whether in the advertiser's corporate, partnership or trade name or otherwise, where such terms do not reflect a bona fide description of the advertiser so described.
• If the advertiser provides a raincheck for an advertised item unavailable for immediate purchase, the failure to:
o Honor or satisfy such raincheck within 60 days of issuance unless an extension of such time period is agreed to by the holder thereof.
o Give written or telephonic notice to the holder thereof when the merchandise is available and hold such merchandise for a reasonable time after giving such notice, for all merchandise with an advertised price greater than $15 per unit.
o Offer a raincheck to all customers who are unable, due to the unavailability thereof, to purchase the advertised merchandise during the period of time during which the merchandise has been advertised as available for sale.
• False or misleading representations of facts concerning the reasons for, existence or amounts of price reductions, the nature of an offering or the quantity of advertised merchandise available for sale.
• Failure to substantiate through documents, records or other written proof any claim made regarding the safety, performance, availability, efficiency, quality or price of the advertised merchandise, nature of the offering or quantity of advertised merchandise available for sale. These records shall be made available upon request for inspection by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs or its designee at the advertiser's regular place of business or central office in New Jersey, or, at the advertiser's option, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ designated offices, for a period of 90 days following the advertisement’s effective date.
• Direct or indirect use of a comparison to a suggested retail price, inventory price, invoice price or similar terms that directly or indirectly compare or suggest the comparison between the cost of supply and the price at retail for the advertised merchandise.
• Use of the term "cost," "wholesale" or other similar terms to describe an advertised price where such price is not equal to or less than the price per unit paid by the advertiser to the manufacturer or distributor of the merchandise. In the computation of the price per unit of the advertised merchandise, freight may be included if the advertiser pays for same and is not reimbursed therefore, but handling and all overhead or operating expenses shall be excluded.

When merchants use a fictitious former price, they violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. A former price or price range or the amount of reduction is fictitious if unable to be substantiated, based upon proof:
• Of a substantial number of sales of the advertised merchandise or comparable merchandise of like grade or quality made within the advertiser's trade area in the regular course of business at any time within the most recent 60 days during which the advertised merchandise was available for sale prior to or which were in fact made in the first 60 days during which the advertised merchandise was available for sale following the advertisement’s effective date;
• That the advertised merchandise or comparable merchandise of like grade or quality, was actively and openly offered for sale at that price within the advertiser's trade area in the regular course of business during at least 28 days of the most recent 90 days before or after the advertisement’s effective date; or
• That the price does not exceed the supplier's cost plus the usual and customary mark-up used by the advertising merchant in the actual sale of the advertised merchandise or comparable merchandise of like grade or quality in the recent regular course of business.

If the former price specifically refers to a time in the remote past during which it was offered, it shall be deemed fictitious unless substantiated pursuant to the regulations. (either New Jersey Administrative Code 13:45A-9.6.(b) 1 or 3). Examples of the use of fictitious pricing include the following:

• Merchant A is a retailer of Brand X fountain pens which cost him $5.00 each. Merchant A’s usual markup is 50 percent over cost (Merchant A’s regular retail price is $7.50). To subsequently offer an unusual "bargain," Merchant A temporarily raises the price of Brand X pens to $10.00 each, realizing that Merchant A will only be able to sell a few pens, if any, at this inflated price. But Merchant A does not care because Merchant A intends to maintain that price for only a few days and "cuts" the artificially inflated price of $10.00 to the usual price--$7.50--at which time Merchant A advertises: "Terrific Bargain: X Pens, Were $10, Now Only $7.50." The advertised "bargain" is not genuine but instead is a fraud.
• Merchant A advertises Brand X pens as having a "Retail Price $15.00, My Price $7.50," when, in fact, only a few small suburban boutique-type stores in the area charge $15.00. All of the larger outlets, like Merchant A's, located in and around the main shopping areas charge approximately $7.50. This advertisement id deceptive because the price charged by the small suburban boutique or specialty stores have no real significance to Merchant A's customers, to whom the advertisement of "Retail Value $15.00" would suggest a prevailing and not merely an isolated and unrepresentative price in the area in which they shop.
• Merchant A advertises Brand X pen as "Comparable Value $15.00" when only a small number of unrepresentative specialty stores in the trade area offer Brand Y, an essentially similar pen, for that price. This is a related form of misleading advertising since the price of the comparable merchandise (Brand Y), which is cited for comparison, is not representative of the price for Brand Y being charged by representative retail outlets in Merchant A's trade area.

UNASSEMBLED MERCHANDISE ADVERTISEMENTS THAT VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
Merchants advertising unassembled merchandise for sale with pictures or illustrations of the merchandise assembled must explain that the merchandise is being sold unassembled. Otherwise, the merchants violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT VIOLATIONS FOR SELLING MERCHANDISE WITHOUT A TAG OR LABEL
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act requires merchants selling or attempting to sell or offer for retail sale merchandise unless its total sale price is plainly marked by a stamp, tag, label or sign that is either affixed to the merchandise or located at the point where the merchandise is offered for sale. For each day that the merchant fails to so mark each group of identical merchandise, the merchant is liable for a separate violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

SOLICITATIONS OF FUNDS OR CONTRIBUTIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS OF SALE OF MERCHANDISE ON BEHALF OF CHARITIES, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS OR HANDICAPPED PERSONS VIOLATING THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits merchants from soliciting funds or contributions or selling or offer for sale any merchandise or services by telephone or otherwise and to misrepresent or falsely lead customers to believe that the merchant is acting as or for any charitable or nonprofit organization or that a contribution to or purchase from the merchant shall substantially benefit handicapped persons.

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALES VIOLATING THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits merchants from advertising merchandise for sale as a "going out of business sale" or in similar terms for more than ninety days or to advertise more than one such sale in 360 days, with the latter period beginning on the first day of the sale. Each day that a merchant commits the violation constitutes a separate violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

RESTAURANT ADVERTISING AND FOOD MENU MISREPRESENTATIONS VIOLATING THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits merchants from misrepresenting on any menu or other posted information or advertisement, the identity of any food or food products to its patrons or to eating establishment customers. Under the regulations, “eating establishments” subject to the regulations include the following:
• Restaurants;
• Hotels;
• Cafes;
• Lunch counters; or
• other places where food is regularly prepared and sold for consumption either on or off the premises.

However, the term “eating establishments” exclude retail food stores or grocery stores which don’t have facilities for consuming food or food products on their premises. The following conduct by merchants subject to these regulations violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• descriptions that are false or misleading in any way;
• description omitting information, thereby making the description false or misleading in any way;
• served, sold or distributed under the name of another food or food product; or
• claims to be or is represented as a food or food product for which a definition of identity and standard of quality has been established by custom and usage and it fails to conform to it.

UNIT PRICE DISCLOSURES REQUIRED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
The Unit Price Disclosure Act (“UPDA”) is a supplement to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act regulating merchants’ disclosure of unit prices. The UPDA provides the following definitions:
• "Consumer commodity" -- merchandise, wares, article, product, comestible or commodity of any kind or class produced, distributed or offered for retail sale for consumption by individuals other than at the retail establishment or for use by individuals for purposes of personal care or in the performance of services rendered within the household and which is consumed or expended in the course of such use.
• "Director" -- the Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
• "Price per measure" -- the retail price of a consumer commodity expressed per such unit of weight, standard measure or standard count as the Director shall designate by regulation.
• "Person" -- any natural person, partnership, corporation or other organization engaged in the sale, display or offering for sale of consumer commodities at retail from one or more retail establishments whose combined total floor area exceeds 4,000 square feet or whose combined total annual gross receipts from the sale of consumer commodities in the preceding year exceed $2 million.

It is a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for merchants to expose or offer for sale at retail any consumer commodities, except those exempted by the Director, unless the commodities are plainly marked by a stamp, tag, label or sign at the point of display with the price per measure of such consumer commodity.

OTHER ADVERTISEMENTS VIOLATING THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT
Aside from the specific regulations and subsections of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act that
expressly prohibit certain types of advertising, a consumer may allege that an advertisement violates
Section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Under Section 2, there are two different types of New
Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violations.

The first type of violations involve affirmative acts. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, it is unlawful for certain sellers of goods or services to engage in any of the following type of affirmative acts:
• unconscionable commercial practice -- an activity in the public marketplace, which is basically unfair or unjust, which materially departs from standards of good faith, honesty in fact and fair dealing.
• deception – conduct or an advertisement which is misleading to an average consumer to the extent that it is capable of and likely to, mislead an average consumer. It does not matter that, at a later time, it could have been explained to a more knowledgeable and inquisitive consumer, nor need the conduct or advertisement actually have misled the consumer. It is not important that the seller may have acted in good faith. Instead, it is the capacity to mislead that is important.
• fraud -- a perversion of the truth, a misstatement or a falsehood communicated to another person and creating the possibility that that other person will be cheated.
• false pretense -- an untruth knowingly expressed by a wrongdoer.
• false promise -- an untrue commitment or pledge, communicated to another person, to create the possibility that that other person will be misled.
• misrepresentation -- a statement made to deceive or mislead. An untrue statement, made about a fact which is important or significant to a sale or advertisement and which is communicated to another person to create the possibility that the other person will be misled.

The second type of Section 2 violations New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act involves acts of omission – a failure to do something that the law requires be done. Omissions that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act consist of any of the following:
• knowing concealment of any material fact.
• suppression of any material fact.
• omission of any material fact.

When a consumer claims that a merchant violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by committing
either an affirmative act or an act of omission, it is usually a factual question if the advertisement is
misleading to the average consumer. Deception or unconscionability in advertising is gauged by the
advertisement’s tendency to mislead the consumer. If the possibility of consumer deception is present in
the advertisement, proof that the consumer was actually misled or deceived is unnecessary. The issue
isn’t how the allegedly deceptive advertisement might be understood by a knowledgeable, sophisticated
consumer but instead, whether the advertisement is misleading to the average consumer. However,
there are some situations where the advertisements may be so obviously deceptive that a court could find
a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

The following are examples of advertisements violating section 2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:

• Advertisement for consumer financial help services where the merchant provided no meaningful assistance but instead charged consumers approximately $200 just for referring the consumers to a bankruptcy attorney, when the consumers could receive such referrals for free from other services.

• An automotive dealership’s using the term “dealer invoice” in an automobile advertisement, when the term had no clear meaning to the average consumer.

• Advertisement describing windows as “insulated aluminum windows” could be found misleading to the average consumer when describing windows with insulated glass and uninsulated aluminum frames.

• Contact lenses advertisement failing to explain that additional professional services not included in the advertised price were required for most customers.

• A cell phone service provider’s advertisement that its wireless service was so reliable that "you
can make your wireless phone your only phone."

• A drugstore chain’s advertisement claiming "the lowest and best prices" on pharmaceuticals and a best-price guarantee to "meet or beat" its competitors' prescription prices, when the chain encouraged its pharmacists to charge more than the chain’s stated retail price to customers that were unlikely to challenge the prices.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.
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