Friday, 18 January 2013

Colbert covers the VitaminWater lawsuit

In food advertising and labeling law, there is a concept called "puffery." It means advertising or labeling claims so outlandish that reasonable adults will recognize their falsehood.

You might think that health advocacy groups would use the word "puffery" as an insult when describing food company advertising. Not so.

Instead, it is the food companies who use the word "puffery" in legal briefs defending their own advertising. As in: "Sure, our advertising claim was false, but so what? Our claim was mere 'puffery.' We have no legal obligation to stand by its truth." I thought of this arcane field of puffery-related law while watching Colbert's coverage of the Coca-Cola VitaminWater lawsuit this week.

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