I like to call myself thrifty, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m cheap. I clip coupons and use store brands more often than not. If I can get the same quality for less, I see no need in spending extra money just for a label. However, when my kids were babies and we were poor struggling students, I always used name brand formula. I felt that it wasn’t worth it to save a little money when it came to risking my children’s nutrition and development.
According to a recent court case, I should have saved my money. The U.S. Circuit Court upheld a $13.5 million false advertising claim against Mead Johnson, Enfamil maker, PBM Products, Perrigo’s store brand infant formula business, successfully argued that their formula contained the same nutrients at the same levels as Enfamil. However, Enfamil was using misleading advertising campaign’s to convince consumers that they had a superior product.
“As the litigation history of the parties demonstrates, despite having twice been restrained from disseminating misleading advertising, Mead Johnson continued to do so,” Circuit Judge Andre Davis wrote. “PBM cannot fairly compete with Mead Johnson unless and until Mead Johnson stops infecting the marketplace with misleading advertising.”
"The Court has made it clear that national brand and store brand suppliers are entitled to fairly compete and advertising abuses will not be tolerated," said Perrigo Chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa in a statement. "We also appreciate the Court's recognition that PBM could lawfully compare its products to national brand products."
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