False advertising is one of the most common and widely condemned forms of unethical advertising. Yogurt maker Dannon had to pay $45 million after it was sued for overstating the benefits of its Activia yogurt line.
In 2001, investigators from the Korean government discovered that automakers Hyundai and Kia were overstating the horsepower ratings for some vehicle models. This revelation led to a California-based lawsuit that ultimately cost Kia and Hyundai an estimated $75 to $125 million.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for regulating all commercial advertising. When the FTC discovers unethical advertising, it typically issues fines, preferring civil actions to criminal proceedings.