Friday, June 08, 2007

Now taste the lawsuit

The subfield of sweetener litigation marches on, with Merisant and McNeil sniping about whether one or both breached the recent settlement agreement that came after a federal jury reached a verdict on Merisant's false advertising claims. Merisant's "Now Taste the Truth" ad that ran in USA Today (with invalid coupons, sorry); Merisant's "Equal Cares" website.

Is it misleading or defamatory to imply that McNeil was guilty of false advertising in the US by juxtaposing a judicial finding against McNeil in France with a statement that the parties settled their US lawsuit? My instinct is that it isn't, because the implication is only of an opinion and the underlying facts are disclosed. It's perfectly possible that Merisant's ad violated the settlement agreement, though, depending on what the agreement says.

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