Consumers May Be Owed Funds Over Wesson’s Multi-Million Dollar False Advertising
According to a report from CNET, a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a false advertising settlement related to Wesson oil, a popular plant-based cooking oil. The company is set to pay out a total of $3 million to affected consumers. Within this article, our Miami deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyers provide an overview of the false advertising allegations and explain your rights if you were a victim of false advertising in Florida.
False Advertising Settlement: Wesson Oil is Not “100 Percent Natural”
For more than a century, Wesson oil has been a plant-based cooking oil found in many American homes. Recently, the company advertised its cooking oil as 100 percent natural (2006 to 2017). However, the cooking oil is reportedly made using genetically modified vegetables. The company was sued by a group of consumers on the grounds of false advertising. The case has reached a preliminary settlement. Wesson, which is now owned by the conglomerate ConAga, will pay a collective $3 million to affected consumers.
What is False Advertising?
False advertising is the use of misleading, false, or deceptive statements in advertising. It can take many forms, such as making false claims about a product’s performance or benefits, failing to disclose important information, or using deceptive formatting or images to mislead the consumer. For an ad to be “false”, the following two criteria must be met:
- The ad must be likely to mislead a reasonable consumer; and
- The false claim, misrepresentation, or omission must be material—meaning it must be relevant to a reasonable consumer’s decision to buy/use the product or service.
False advertising is distinguished from “puffery.” Businesses can use exaggerated, promotional, or “puffed up” language to praise a product or service. For example, saying that a certain brand of car is “the best in the world” is likely puffery, not false advertising—regardless of how good the car performs. The “best” is an opinion, not a specific claim that can be proven true or false.
Florida’s FDUTPA Provides Consumers a Right to Sue for False Advertising
Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state law that provides consumers with the right to sue for a wide array of commercial violations, including false advertising. You do not need to wait for a regulator to take action to challenge false advertising. Under the FDUTPA, you can file a direct lawsuit against the responsible business to seek damages for false advertising.
Contact Our West Palm Beach, FL FDUTPA Lawyer for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida FDUTPA attorneys have the skills and experience to handle the full spectrum of false advertising cases. If you have any questions or concerns about false advertising, we are here as a legal resource. Call us now to set up a confidential, no commitment appointment with an attorney. From our law offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, our law firm handles false advertising claims throughout all of South Florida.