Government connection, endorsement, or approval of product

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California Law

A product or service offered in California by a private company cannot be advertised in a manner which would imply that any California state or local agency is connected with the product or service, or approves or has endorsed the product or service, unless that is true, or unless the advertisement includes a statutorily required disclaimer.

A purpose of the law is to prevent official envelopes or official stationary from being used as a means of enticing people to open the advertising.

Federal Law

Federal law also prohibits advertising that implies that a product or service has been approved or endorsed by the federal government.

Federal law prohibits false advertising or the misuse of names to suggest there is a federal agency. Additional prohibitions exist for debt collectors, and for any use of official government seals.

US postal regulations prohibit any mailing that implies any federal government connection, approval, or endorsement

More Information is Available with a Premium Subscription

  • California Law
  • Text of California statute

  • Background information as to why the law was amended effective January 1, 2003

  • Whether violating the law can be a crime

  • Federal Law
  • Text of Federal statutes

  • US Postal Regulations

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