Case Study

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Brief Kraft, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commissio
Plaintiff/Appellant: Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Defendant/Appellee: Kraft Inc.
History: Federal Trade Commission instituted a deceptive advertising proceeding against Kraft Inc. Kraft was instructed to terminate certain ads due to false advertising. Facts: In March 1987, Kraft added a subscript on the television commercial and as a footnote in the print media version, the disclosure that “one ¾ ounces slice has 70% of the calcium of five ounces of milk.” FTC has claimed that Kraft Inc was representing false advertisement. Kraft Inc had used two television advertisements that claimed that their cheese had 5 ounces of milk per slice, which is what kids bones needs to grow. Plaintiff’s Theory: FTC feels that Kraft Inc’s cheese single ads are deceptive and do not actually have 5 ounces of milk in every slice of cheese. Defendant’s Theory: Kraft Inc believes that their ads are honest. They feel that their ads were not misleading anything. Cheese has milk in it therefore kids need it for their bones to grow. Issue: Were these ads false advertisement?

Holding of the Court: Yes, FTC, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit determined that Kraft Inc advertisements were deceptive. My thoughts: I don’t believe Kraft advertisement should be considered as false advertisement. It attracts their consumers to buy their product, and any other company would most certainly do the same. Yet, I’m sure the food labels of the products we buy aren’t very accurate, however we still purchase them. Many other companies could find themselves in this same situation. I am certain that Kraft isn’t the only one with this type of advertisement. Reference:

Mallor, J.P., Barnes, A.J., Bowers, T, & Langvardt, A.W. (2010). Business law the ethical, global, and e-commerce environment. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
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