Posts filed under ‘False Advertising’

Food for Thought? Snack and soda ads challenged

Lawsuits about advertising unhealthy products to children continue to pull in the press as the Center for Science in the Public Interest announced its intent to file a lawsuit against Viacom and Kellogg Co. that will claim that the companies engaged in unfair and deceptive advertising by marketing “food of poor nutritional quality” to children under 8 years old. This lawsuit was announced as the Center also announced that it will delay a lawsuit against cola companies that would challenge the advertising and sale of soda in schools. Both Pepsi-Cola Co. and the Coca-Cola Co. are negotiating with the Center and the American Beverage Association has taken steps to limit the sale of soda in schools.

Both suits aimed to take advantage of favorable laws in Massachusetts that allow individuals to sue company’s for deceptive advertising as private attorneys general.



January 19, 2006 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Attorney advertising subject to Colorado ad laws

The Colorado Supreme Court has held that lawyer advertising is subject to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act’s false and deceptive advertising provisions. The law also provides for triple damages and attorney fees. So at least we — as in the Bar — have that going for us.


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January 11, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Chip maker faces fake fat lawsuit after rebranding

Remember the WOW! chips that contained olestra, otherwise known as the “fake fat”? Last year, Frito-Lay rebranded the fat-free chips under its LITE line. Now a consumer group is threatening to file a lawsuit under a consumer-friendly deceptive-advertising law in Massachusetts unless the company puts a warning label on snacks with the fat substitute. The lawsuit would be filed on behalf of 30-year-old Lori Perlow, a 30-year-old woman claiming that she got stomach cramps and had to quickly use the bathroom after eating the Ruffles Lite. The group believes that Frito-Lay rebranded snacks containing olestra to trick consumers into thinking the snacks did not contain olestra. Frito-Lay claims that it changed the name because Light “seemed to convey the product’s benefits much more than ‘Wow!’ did.” According to Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez,
“It’s an extremely safe product, well-tested… If the law says we don’t have to have (a label), we don’t see the need for it either.”

See David Koenig, Consumer group threatens Frito-Lay with lawsuit over fake fat, Boston Globe (Jan. 4, 2006).

See also Woman May Sue Frito Lay After Getting Stomach Ache,

January 7, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

P&G has bones with GSK’s “misleading” Boniva ads

BonivaAccording to a BrandWeek report, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-Aventis have sued Roche Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline for false and misleading advertising of the osteoporosis drug Boniva. P&G and Sanofi have a competing drug called Actonel. P&G claims that Boniva advertising incorrectly claims that it reduces the risk of non-spine fractures at rates comparable to other treatments, but the label and clinical data does not support that claim. The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York.

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January 6, 2006 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Eli Lilly to plead guilty to false advertising of Evista

Eli Lilly and Co. accepted a $36 million fine and will plead guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge due to false advertising for its Evista osteoporosis medication for breast cancer and cardiovascular risk reduction. The company’s Evista advertising will also be subject to strict guidelines and federal oversight for five years. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved Evista for breast cancer treatment or cardiovasvular risk reduction, but the drug has been approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

See Eli Lilly Pleads Guilty in Marketing Promotion, Brandweek (Dec. 22, 2005).

December 22, 2005 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Sweetener ads have bad aftertaste for McNeil

McNeil Nutritionals is finding out that isn’t enough sugar in the world to make a legal bill for eleven lawsuits taste better. The maker of Splenda, an artificial sweetener, is being sued by two competitors in federal court and by seven consumer groups in state courts over Splenda’s “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” ad campaign. The bad news: Splenda isn’t made from sugar. The good news: another suit has been dismissed and an eleventh has been stayed. Sweet!

See Tresa Baldas, Artificial Sweetener Draws Volley of Very Sour Lawsuits, National Law Journal (Apr. 8, 2005).

April 8, 2005 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Dell accused of pulling a bait-and-click?

A California law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against Dell, the world’s leading direct-to-consumers computer retailer, claiming “bait and switch” practices, false advertising, fraud and deceit in sales and advertising, and breach of contract. The crux of the case is that Dell allegedly advertised low cost computers that were frequently not available for purchase. More on the case can be found on CNet.

February 23, 2005 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment


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