Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law

Category Archives: Deceptive Trade Practices

Subscribe to Deceptive Trade Practices RSS Feed

FTC and DeVry University Settle False Advertising Claims for $100M

In December 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations stemming from DeVry’s advertising about the employment rates and salaries of its graduates. According to the FTC press release announcing the settlement in FTC v. DeVry Educ. Group in the district court for … Continue Reading

When the Strength of the Facts Cannot be Lifted – SDNY Dismisses Muscle Maker Slack-Fill Class Action

The Southern District of New York recently dismissed a putative class action against Cytosport, the maker of Muscle Milk protein powder. The plaintiff, Orlando Bautista, alleged that he bought a container of Muscle Milk protein powder for $28 but was “surprised and disappointed” to discover that the package contained roughly 30% empty space. The suit … Continue Reading

Update on Second Circuit Ruling in Church & Dwight v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics “Weeks Estimator” Home Pregnancy Test Litigation

Last month we summarized the Second Circuit’s important decision in a dispute between plaintiff-appellee Church & Dwight and its principal competitor, defendant-appellant SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, concerning SPD’s false advertising of its Clearblue Weeks Estimator Home Pregnancy Test.  As we reported, a Second Circuit panel in September unanimously affirmed rulings by Judge Alison Nathan of … Continue Reading

IntenseX False Advertising Claims Lack Power and Performance

Last month, in Kanfer v. Pharmacare US, Inc., U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff of the Southern District of California dismissed on what were essentially puffery grounds a consumer suit styled as a class action alleging that defendant PharmaCare falsely advertised its nutritional supplement, IntenseX, as an aphrodisiac that “would improve. . .sexual power and performance.” … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Ruling that SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics Falsely Advertised Clearblue Weeks Estimator Home Pregnancy Test and Did so Intentionally and Egregiously

In an important recent false advertising decision in a suit brought by home pregnancy test manufacturer Church & Dwight against its principal competitor SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, a Second Circuit panel unanimously affirmed orders by Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York, following a bench trial on liability, (i) holding that SPD … Continue Reading

Accurate Net Weight Disclosures May Defeat Slack-Fill Claims in California

Last April, we reported on Ebner v. Fresh, Inc., in which a Ninth Circuit panel held that the plaintiff failed to state a claim that Sugar lip balm packaging was misleading because it contained non-functional “slack-fill.” Last month, the Ninth Circuit rejected plaintiff’s petition for rehearing en banc but also amended its earlier opinion. Though … Continue Reading

The FTC Trims the Fat Off Even More Companies Selling Weight Loss Products

Hungry to prevent more companies from selling allegedly bogus weight loss products, the FTC has settled yet another false advertising suit against various sellers of diet pills, in a case similar to February’s Sale Slash settlement blogged about here.  The FTC’s latest diet pill settlement enjoins distributors of the dietary supplement known as Pure Green Coffee … Continue Reading

Stars Fail to Align for P&G, as Supreme Court Rejects Class Certification Appeal

Readers may recall our coverage in recent months of the challenge by Procter & Gamble (P&G) to an order certifying a multi-state consumer class in a case asserting that P&G falsely advertised its probiotic supplement Align. Last August, a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed class certification. In October, the Sixth Circuit stayed its … Continue Reading

Not Sweet Enough: Ninth Circuit Tosses Claims Over Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Labeling and Packaging

Plaintiff Angela Ebner filed a putative class action against Fresh, Inc. alleging that the label, design and packaging of its Sugar lip balms deceived consumers about the amount of available product. In a published panel decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety. Sugar lip balm, which … Continue Reading

Want to Settle Before Class Certification? The Supreme Court Raises the Stakes

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, a putative class action case, that an unaccepted pre-certification settlement offer to the named plaintiff does not moot either the plaintiff’s claim or that of the supposed class.  The case involved a claim under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and was decided on … Continue Reading

With Circuits Mis-Aligned, Sixth Circuit Stays Class Certification Pending Appeal

As our readers may remember, Procter & Gamble (“P&G”) stomached a loss last August when the Sixth Circuit affirmed certification of a false advertising class action regarding P&G’s Align probiotic supplement. But on October 27, the Sixth Circuit stayed its decision pending P&G’s petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. As discussed below, P&G contends … Continue Reading

A Yarn Spun, But Advertising Not Tailored to a Lanham Act Claim

In a recent application of the Supreme Court’s 2014 Lexmark decision on standing, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held last month that a yarn retailer who alleged it was misled by its supplier into purchasing mislabeled yarn lacked standing to bring a Lanham Act false advertising claim. Knit With v. Knitting Fever, … Continue Reading

Ruling Allows Gerber False Advertising Suit to Crawl Onward

For plaintiffs concerned that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 19, 2015 decision in Brown v. GNC Corp. signaled the muscling in of a stricter new pleading standard for false advertising class actions nationwide, a recent ruling out of the Central District of California likely acted as a pacifier. On July 14, 2015, U.S. … Continue Reading

Out of Align-ment: Sixth Circuit Affirms Class Certification in Probiotics Case

A recent Sixth Circuit decision that affirmed certification of a multi-state consumer class action asserting false advertising claims concerning Align – a Proctor & Gamble probiotic product promising digestive health benefits – has left us with an uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs. In Rikos v. P&G, the judge writing the opinion of … Continue Reading

Makers’ Mark Two: Bourbon Distiller Slips another “Handmade” False Advertising Suit

In another blow to the class action plaintiff’s bar, a court in the Southern District of California has dismissed a false advertising class action against Maker’s Mark for describing its product as “handmade.” We recently covered a similar case involving the same bourbon and “handmade” claim in the Northern District of Florida, which was also … Continue Reading

Sun-Blocked: California Court Dismisses Sunscreen Labeling Case

It’s summertime, and for many of us that means buying and applying sunscreen. Lots of it. Indeed, when selecting sunscreen rated at, say, SPF 30, we rely on national standards promulgated by the FDA. It thus comes as no surprise that a California state appellate court recently rejected attempts by several plaintiffs to impose different … Continue Reading

Procera AVH Marketers Can Forget About Claiming to Reverse Memory Loss

It turns out that there is not a magic pill capable of reversing the effects of aging on the human brain, including memory loss, or at least not one we can remember right now. The FTC recently reminded the marketers of Procera AVH, a dietary supplement that allegedly combats memory loss and cognitive decline, of … Continue Reading

Clarification for Class Action Settlements May Be on the Line As Supreme Court Grants Cert in TCPA Case

Last year, in Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., No. 13-55486, 2014 WL 4654478 (9th Cir. Sept. 19, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that offers of complete relief made to individual plaintiffs under Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 do not moot either individual or class claims. This holding mirrors decisions by … Continue Reading

Procter & Gamble Must Say Goodbye to Proposed Amended Claim against Hello, while Hello Says Goodbye to Lawsuit

A lawsuit between Procter & Gamble (“P&G”) and Hello Products (“Hello”) – a toothpaste start up that promotes its products as “naturally friendly” – settled last week with the entry of a stipulated injunction, but Hello might still have reason to smile. Days before the settlement, the Southern District of New York rejected P&G’s motion … Continue Reading

A Court in the Sunshine State Blocks Injunctive Relief against Neutrogena Sunscreen Claims; Meanwhile P&G Cannot Flush Charmin Claims for the Same Relief in New York

Assume the following: plaintiff brings a putative class action under state consumer protection laws alleging that he bought a product based on false claims on its packaging. He seeks monetary and injunctive relief. However, plaintiff vows never to buy the product displaying the allegedly false advertising again or cannot purchase the product so-labeled because the … Continue Reading

Tripping the Light Cran-tastic: Ocean Spray Washes Away Attempted Class Certification

Class certification in false advertising cases often fails due to problems with the class itself such as ascertainability. But what happens when a class action plaintiff admits she didn’t rely upon the purportedly deceptive claims in making her purchasing decision? A recent decision in California’s “food court” may provide an answer. In Major v. Ocean … Continue Reading

False Advertising Suit Concerning Department of Defense Standards Misfires

In a case that teaches important lessons about the burden of proving an advertisement false at trial, Judge Ronald Lew of the Central District of California held that Elkay Plastics Company was not liable for allegedly false statements that its StratoGrey line of polyethylene products meets military specifications. In 2012 Caltex Plastics sued Elkay arguing … Continue Reading
LexBlog