Gansler settles with out-of-state florists
BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced on Monday that he has reached an agreement with a Florida-based florist and a separate Florida-based floral business for allegedly violating Maryland's False Advertising Law.
Florist Derek Oliver and Nationwide 411 Inc. both placed ads in the telephone directory listings in Maryland that allegedly misrepresented that the businesses were located in the state.
Both used phone numbers with area codes in Maryland that were listed under the names Perry Hall Florist and Gifts, Dundalk Florist and Gifts and Essex Florist and Gifts. None of these were actually located in the state, Gansler says.
"Advertisers cannot mislead consumers regarding their location," Gansler said. "Consumers who want to shop with local merchants should be able to do so."
Although both denied any wrongdoing, the two florists have agreed to halt any advertisements in Maryland telephone directories misrepresenting either a Maryland address or Maryland phone number in the future.
The florists must also each pay a $5,000 penalty to the state and disconnect any phone numbers that were previously included in Maryland phone directories.