State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Advertising (Retail)

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705-Attorney General


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False or misleading advertisements are unlawful (Business and Professions Code Section § 17500) and constitute "unfair competition" (Business and Professions Codes § 17200).

Where to go for help ...

  • President or manager of company that placed the advertisement;

  • Media in which the advertisement appeared;

  • Local district attorney in consumer's area and/or area in which the ad appeared (white pages of telephone book under county government);

Better Business Bureau:

  • The advertiser may be licensed by an agency of the federal or state government. If so, call or write that agency for assistance.

  • A suspected false advertisement should also be registered with the Attorney General by calling the Attorney General's "hotline" at (800) 952-5225

For additional information, contact agencies listed below:

Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General
Public Inquiry Unit
PO BOX 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(800) 735-2922(TTD)
(800) 952-5225
(916) 322-3360
(916) 323-5341 Fax
711 or (800) 735-2929 TTY/TDD
(800) 855-3000 Spanish TTY/TDD

Sacramento, Northern Counties Better Business Bureau
400 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-6843
(916) 443-0376 Fax

Sacramento County Consumer and Environmental Protection Division
Office of the District Attorney
906 G Street, Suite 700
PO BOX 749
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 874-6174
(916) 874-7660 Fax

Small Claims Advisor
301 Bicentennial Circle, Room 330
Sacramento, CA 95826
(916) 875-7846
Small Claims Court

Areas that cover California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Utah:

Western Region
Federal Trade Commission
901 Market Street, Suite 570
San Francisco, CA 94103
(877) 382-4357

Southern Region
10877 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 824-4300
(310) 824-4380 Fax

Newspaper Association of America
4401 Wilson Blvd., Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203-1867
(703) 902-1600
(707) 917-0636 Fax

National Headquarters for Better Business Bureau
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 276-0100
(703) 525-8277 Fax

Department Publications:
Consumer Law Sourcebook, Chapter 20

Consumer Resource & Referral Guide Consumer Resource & Referral Guide
Directory of State Agencies Directory of State Agencies
Directory of Federal Agencies Directory of Federal Agencies
Return to DCA Home Page Return to DCA Home Page

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