Month: February 2016

Chobani vs Dannon and Yoplait: The Limitations of the Literal Marketplace of Ideas

Although designed to protect competition, false advertising law protects consumers from our own ignorance.  This somewhat paternalistic approach is evident in the lawsuits against Chobani by Dannon and Yoplait.  Chobani’s competitors claim that Chobani falsely advertised that Dannon’s artificial sweeteners and Yoplait’s preservatives are unsafe.  Chobani tried to capitalize on our collective distrust of artificial ingredients, and a federal court has intervened.  These lawsuits illustrate our current thinking on the “marketplace of ideas.”  Unfortunately, the intersection of the commercial context and the First Amendment demonstrates that the law actually does not believe in the public’s ability to uncover the truth.

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