Could an event promoter face fraud charges over cancellations?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Fraud

Trying to establish a new festival or event can be a challenging endeavor. Those hired for marketing and promoting work often need to make the event seem as exciting as possible to trigger the fear of missing out in prospective attendees.

Often, those actually arranging an event rely on outside professionals for much of the marketing. Those professionals could worry about their professional reputations or even their legal rights if the event doesn’t happen due to a sudden cancellation or if people claim that the event was nothing like what the advertising materials claimed.

Do those engaged in marketing for event organizers need to worry about facing fraud charges due to factors outside of their control?

Promotions can seem fraudulent in many cases

The Fyre Festival is a domestic example of how fraudulent misrepresentation could potentially lead to angry consumers and even fraud allegations. The Festival was allegedly a music event whose marketing boasted of excellent accommodations and concerts.

Both those who invested in the event and those who purchased tickets ended up grossly disappointed by the eventual cancellation of the festival. Although the notoriety of the event has led to organizers planning a new event at the end of 2024, the founder of the organization that planned the event ended up pleading guilty to federal fraud charges. There is still a roughly $30 million debt related to the initial failed event as well.

Those engaged in marketing for companies offering events that need to be cautious about how they represent the experience. The careful inclusion of fine print warning of cancellations and other issues could help mitigate some of the liability that comes from unmet expectations on the part of those who purchase tickets.

Verifying the efforts made by the event organizer and being careful to avoid over-promising and under-delivering can reduce the likelihood of a criminal charge alleging fraudulent marketing practices after an event doesn’t occur or fails to meet the expectations of those who paid to attend. In some cases, marketing professionals may be victims of misrepresentation by the event organizer, rather than professionals with criminal intentions.

Anyone facing allegations of fraud related to marketing for events may require assistance when they respond to those allegations. Fighting back against fraud charges could help a marketing professional preserve their reputation and avoid criminal penalties stemming from the disappointment of those who wanted to experience something unique and exciting.

FindLaw Network
Gary Jay Kaufman
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