Misleading TV Ads Make Trial Lawyers Rich

November 26, 2019

Beyond inflating litigation, lawsuit ads can create serious and negative public health impacts. As ILR Chief Operating Officer Harold Kim writes in Morning Consult, these ads are especially dangerous for older Americans, who may be frightened into stopping or altering their medications by the often bombastic and menacing tone of lawsuit ads.

As Kim points out, this problem has gotten so bad that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently moved decisively to address it. Following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reporting that these ads have caused hundreds of patients to stop taking their medications and experience serious medical complications as a result, the FTC sent letters to at least seven law firms and lawsuit lead generators warning that deceptive advertising practices could result in enforcement action.

Among the FTC’s clearly-stated requirements for avoiding enforcement action is that advertisers must have competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate their claims about the purported risks of targeted products. By establishing that standard, the FTC is signaling what may be a serious disruption to the lawsuit advertising industry, which has for years thrived off of ad blitzes based on dubious science and exaggerated claims.