Can We Sue the Rapture People for False Advertising? | Adweek
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Can We Sue the Rapture People for False Advertising?

The world did not end, which raises the obvious question: Can Family Radio, the advertiser that predicted the Rapture on billboards worldwide, be sued to smithereens for false advertising?
    We turned to our favorite @AdLawGuy, Michael McSunas of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga, Tenn., for his opinion. "To be safe they should have put some disclaimers on the billboards—like 'Date subject to change without notice,' 'Additional terms and conditions apply. See Bible for complete details,'" McSunas joked. He added: "On a serious note, it would be difficult to bring a lawsuit against the advertisers unless they deliberately were trying to deceive the general public for their own financial gain (e.g., to get more donations). That is, let's say the group that put up the billboards did not actually believe that the Rapture was going to happen on Saturday, but they knew if they scared people into believing it was going to happen on Saturday that all these people would give them money. Then there might be a basis for a lawsuit or criminal action. Also, if the group held themselves out as a church group or as ordained ministers, but it turned out that they were actually just four roommates from the Bronx who had never been to church in their lives, then there could maybe be some legal action based on their false credentials. But it appears that these people sincerely believed that the Rapture was supposed to happen on Saturday; they weren't trying to trick anyone. At worse it was a wrong prediction."
    Besides, said McSunas, "I don't think we want our courts evaluating the merits (or foolishness) of the religious beliefs of people in this country—freedom of religion is protected after all." 

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