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Nutella Settles Lawsuit Over False Advertising Claims

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Nutella by Kazunori Matsuo on Flickr

Photo by Kazunori Matsuo on Flickr

In February of last year, we told you about the class action filed against Ferrero USA, Inc., the stateside maker of the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella based on false advertising claims.

Ladies and gentlemen: we have a settlement.

The suit has settled for about $3 million, with a $2.5 million available for distribution to consumers who are eligible to receive a payment; class members may receive up to $4 per jar of Nutella bought during the specified time frame (between August 1, 2009 and January 23, 2012 in California or between January 1, 2008 and February 3, 2012 in all other states), for a maximum of $20 per household.

Moreover, according to the settlement, “Ferrero also has agreed to prospective relief by agreeing to modify the Nutella label, modify certain marketing statements about Nutella, create new television ads, and change the Nutella website.”

From our previous post:

The named plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against Nutella (PDF) is Athena Hohenberg, the mother of a four-year-old girl who claims she was misled by Ferrero USA’s claims that Nutella is “healthful” when in reality, the plaintiff alleges, the spread is “the next best thing to a candy bar.” The complaint states the plaintiff bought Nutella “because she sought a healthy snack or breakfast alternative for her household.”

Specifically, according to the complaint, Nutella’s advertising campaigns include “images and videos of wholesome families and happy, healthy children enjoying Nutella for breakfast before going to school.” These images are misleading, the complaint alleges, because the spread actually contains “about 70 percent saturated fat and processed sugar by weight,” and would therefore contribute to problems of obesity and high cholesterol levels — far from being “nutritious.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Southern California and claims violations of California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws as well as breach of warranty. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, to stop Ferrero USA from marketing Nutella as nutritious, to “conduct a corrective advertising campaign” to inform the public about levels of saturated fat in the product, and monetary damages.

For more information on the settlement and whether you’re eligible to receive a payment, see the Nutella Consumer Class Action Settlements Website at https://nutellaclassactionsettlement.com.

What do you think of this lawsuit and settlement?

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April 30th, 2012 at 3:48 pm