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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Corporations Pay Big for Misleading Advertising Promises

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A couple of recent stories have debunked advertisers' false claims about their products and shown the dangers of making big promises to consumers to get them to buy. From Nutella, the hazelnut chocolate spread that the makers claimed was "healthy" and "nutritious", to Skecher's Shape-Ups which claimed to give you a booty like Kim Kardashian just by walking, advertisers have been on a role lately.

These companies have had to pay up big for their over-zealous advertising. Nutella recently settled for $3.5 million after two moms sued the company for claiming their product was a healthy breakfast to feed their children when, in fact, two tablespoons contain 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat. The settlement equates to $4 to $20 per person involved in the class action suit. Skecher's Shape-Ups also paid a $40 million settlement, although the company denies that its advertisements were false.

Although Pom Wonderful isn't having to pay a settlement, an administrative law judge issued a cease-and-desist order after determining that the company's claims that the juice reduces the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and impotence. The order will remain in effect for 20 years and was issued two years ago after a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission that Pom Wonderful engaged in false and misleading advertising. The judge also determined that Pom Wonderful had insufficient evidence to support their drastic claims of improved health by drinking the juice. These types of suits against Skecher's Shape-Ups and Nutella and other legal actions, show that consumers aren't just going to be duped by corporations in search of big profits regardless of the ethical implications of their promises.