A post over at the Better Business Bureau blog by Marjorie Stephens contends that EA may have committed "false advertising" when it was promoting Mass Effect 3. The author of the post says that when EA talked about how the game's ending would work, they may have described it in a way that was misleading to consumers. Marjorie Stephens then list two examples from EA on the ending:
"Experience the beginning, middle, and end of an emotional story unlike any other, where the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome."
"Along the way, your choices drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilizations, and even radically different ending scenarios."
She ends by drawing a conclusion on whether or not EA actually engaged in false or deceptive advertising:
"The issue at stake here is, did Bio Ware falsely advertise? Technically, yes, they did. In the first bullet point, where it states 'the decisions you make completely shape your experience,' there is no indecision in that statement. It is an absolute. The next statement is not so absolute. It states 'your choices drive powerful outcomes.' A consumer would have to very carefully analyze this statement to come to a conclusion that the game’s outcome is not 'wholly' determined by one’s choices. This statement, really though, is very subject to interpretation. Also this is just a small example of their advertising and does not take into account anything that might have been said, as far as their public relations and other advertising campaigns."
Stephens goes on to offer companies a handy link on the BBB's Code on Advertising, noting that the lesson to be learned in this particular situation is that companies need to give "careful consideration to how they word their advertisements."