Governor signs Wieckowski bill to help county counsels fight false, misleading advertising

June 27, 2016

Sacramento – Attorneys for California counties will have more power to protect consumers from misleading or false advertising under a bill by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown today.

“I applaud the Governor for signing this bill to protect California consumers,” said Senator Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  “SB 1130 gives county counsels the authority to contact companies and demand substantiation of advertising claims before determining whether to file a lawsuit.  Giving them this greater ability enables the counsels to receive and properly evaluate information about advertising claims. The county would then be better able to decide whether to pursue litigation.  If agreements can be reached without a lawsuit, taxpayers and companies will save money.  This is a common-sense step that provides county counsels the same tools possessed by other public attorneys.”

The state attorney general, district attorneys and city attorneys already have the ability to demand substantiation of claims made in advertisements.  The bill is supported by Santa Clara County, the California State Association of Counties and Urban Counties of California. 

“SB 1130 will both enhance the ability of public prosecutors to protect consumers from false and misleading advertising and reduce the need for litigation,” said Danny Chou, assistant county counsel for Santa Clara County, who testified in support of the bill before the Legislature.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.