Hobby Lobby to Pay $220,000 to Settle New York Misleading Advertising Charge

Hobby Lobby Stores will pay $220,000 to settle deceptive advertising charges brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman alleged that Hobby Lobby misled customers into thinking they were receiving steep discounts through deceptive advertising over a two-year period.

As part of the settlement, the company will change its advertising practices over the next 60 days, contribute $138,600 in supplies to public schools near Hobby Lobby stores in Upstate New York, and pay $85,000 in civil penalties and other costs.

“When companies mislead customers by advertising never-ending sales, our office will hold them accountable,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Ultimately, a permanent sale is no sale at all.”

As a result of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s settlement, Hobby Lobby, a major seller of school supplies, will be required to give nearly 700 schools a total of $138,600 in gift cards for supplies in addition to paying civil penalties.

The investigation began in 2013, when Attorney General Schneiderman’s office began tracking marketing materials advertising 50 percent off and 30 percent off sales. Hobby Lobby advertised its custom framing, furniture, and home décor products as sale items for more than 52 consecutive weeks.

The investigation determined that Hobby Lobby violated New York’s General Business Law (350-D) for False Advertising. Sales that are never-ending are in violation of the false advertising law.

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