False and deceptive advertising refers to advertisements that are deceptive in any material respect.
What makes an advertisement deceptive? If a reasonable consumer would find it misleading, an advertisement is considered deceptive. An advertisement may also be deceptive if it contains false or misleading statements or omits important information. Note that an advertiser's intentions are irrelevant: an advertisement may constitute false and misleading advertising even if the deception was unintentional or the result of a mistake.
If the false or misleading statements or the omitted information would affect a reasonable consumer's decision to buy or use the product or service, the deception is considered material.
State and federal law prohibit false and deceptive advertising and requires advertisers to be truthful. False and deceptive advertising is prohibited in all mediums, including newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet.
Reese LLP is a leader in litigation against "Big Food" companies engaged in deceptive marketing of unhealthy foods. The following are some examples of the cases we litigate on behalf of consumers nationwide.
Reese LLP reached a class action settlement in the amount of $5.5 million in Yoo v. Wendy’s International, Inc. Seeking to exploit consumers’ growing awareness of the serious health risks posed by trans fats, the defendant falsely claimed that Wendy’s restaurants had removed trans fats from their recipes while, in acuality, the restaurants continued to use trans fats to cook their fried products. Internal documents showed that Wendy’s knowingly misled the public in order to charge a premium for supposedly healthier food.
CVS sells a store-brand version of the popular product “Airborne,” which purports to be a cold remedy. The packaging for AirShield, the CVS-brand product, is deliberately designed to resemble Airborne’s cartoon-laden packaging and further mimics Airborne’s claims to provide a defense to the common cold by boosting the immune system. Unfortunately, like Airborne, AirShield is nothing more than a “snake oil” sham with no capacity to prevent a cold. Reese LLP is litigating this class action to prevent CVS from continuing to take advantage of consumers.
Reese LLP is currently litigating a class action against The Coca Cola Company and Energy Brands, Inc. on behalf of consumers nationwide in response to the deceptive marketing of VitaminWater as a “health beverage.” Even though it is not substantially different from sugary soft drinks like Coca Cola Classic and Sprite, the defendants charge consumers nearly twice as much for VitaminWater on the basis of the purported health benefits of a few added vitamins. This lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to cease the the defendants’ use of deceptive advertising to exploit consumers’ genuine interest in buying healthier products and to recover company profits derived from charging a premium for the falsely-advertised product.
Reese LLP represents consumers nationwide in an action against PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division for marketing its SunChips and Tostitos chips as "natural" despite the presence of unnatural, genetically engineered ingredients (a/k/a genetically modified organisms, or "GMOs"). This lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to cease the defendants’ use of deceptive advertising to exploit consumers’ genuine interest in buying products that are natural - and, therefore, relatively healthy - and to recover profits derived from charging a premium for the falsely advertised products.
Reese LLP also represents consumers nationwide in an action against PepsiCo for its deceptively marketed Tropicana products and in a parallel action against Coca-Cola for its deceptively marketed Simply Orange and Minute Maid products. In both cases, the defendants have marketed their juice products as "straight from the fruit" when, in reality, the juices undergo extensive processing before consumers purchase them in the store. These lawsuits seek injunctive relief to cease the the defendants’ exploitation of consumers’ genuine interest in buying products that are relatively unprocessed - and, therefore, relatively healthy - and to recover profits derived from charging a premium for the falsely advertised products.