Avoiding Liability Bulletin – March 2009
… As mentioned in a prior piece on advertising, the general rule in most states is that mental health professionals can advertise freely, so long as the advertisement is not false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive. An advertisement that contains a misrepresentation of fact or a failure to disclose a material fact, or that is likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results, will typically be considered to be a false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive statement. Similarly, claims of professional superiority or claims of performing services in a superior manner may be deemed to be such a statement. If the advertisement is not in conformity with this general rule, many states make such an advertisement a crime (usually a misdemeanor) and a violation of the licensing law, which means that licensees may be disciplined by their licensing boards and may be criminally prosecuted.