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General Laws

Section 91. Any person who, with intent to sell or in any way dispose of merchandise, securities, service, or anything offered by such person, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale or distribution, or who, with intent to increase the consumption of or demand for such merchandise, securities, service or other thing, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to acquire title thereto, or an interest therein, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates or places before the public, or causes, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated or placed before the public within the commonwealth, in a newspaper or other publication, or in the form of a book, notice, handbill, poster, bill, circular, pamphlet or letter, or in any other way, an advertisement of any sort regarding merchandise, securities, service or anything so offered to the public, which advertisement contains any assertion, representation or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive or misleading, and which such person knew, or might on reasonable investigation have ascertained to be untrue, deceptive or misleading, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand dollars; provided, that this section shall not apply to any owner, publisher, printer, agent or employee of a newspaper or other publication, periodical or circular, or to any agent of the advertiser who in good faith and without knowledge of the falsity or deceptive character thereof publishes, causes to be published, or participates in the publication of such advertisement.

Whoever violates the provisions of this section may be enjoined therefrom by a petition in equity brought by the attorney general or any aggrieved party.

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