Tom’s of Maine is Being Sued For Using The Term “Natural” in Their Advertising
Consumers who say that Colgate-Palmolive Co. wrongly marketed such goods as “natural” when they contain synthetic ingredients have received certification almost five years after filing an initial class action lawsuit.
The Decision of the Court
According to Law360, class action certification was granted to consumers in New York, Florida, and California in an order issued on April 23 by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood in a federal court in New York. It happened after an offer for a national class in 2019 was turned down.
Consumers argue that Colgate and its subsidiary, Tom’s of Maine Inc., falsely market such deodorant and toothpaste goods as “natural” when they contain glycerin and xanthan gum.
According to the judge, public lawsuits state misleading actions or practices and false advertising laws could proceed, but claims for violation of express warranty could not.
Judge Wood dismissed many of Tom’s and Colgate’s arguments against certification, including allegations that Tom’s already provided a “money-back guarantee” and that the supposed “synthetic” ingredients differ by product.
Plaintiffs Anne de Lacour of Florida and Andrea Wright of California filed a class action alleging that Tom’s of Maine advertises its personal care goods as “natural,” but that they contain “ingredients that are synthetic and highly chemically processed,” namely sodium lauryl sulfate and glycerin.
Anyone who purchased any of the 17 deodorants or 34 kinds of toothpaste named in the class action lawsuit in New York, California, or Florida since September 24, 2015, is included in the lawsuit.
Chemical processing sulfates and neutralizes sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier. Glycerin is an emollient and a synthetic drug, according to the FDA.
In the recent ruling, De Lacour and Wright, as well as Loree Moran of New York, were approved as Class members.
Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Tom’s of Maine asked federal judges to put the class action lawsuits on hold until the US Food and Drug Administration figured out how to use the word “natural” on food labels, but their request was refused.
Consumers believe Tom’s of Maine engages in misleading and deceptive advertising practices.
These include photographs related to the “natural” nature of its deodorant on its labels and website to capitalize on the growing demand for natural goods.
Allegations Against Colgate-Palmolive Co.
Defendants claimed that Tom’s goods did not meet the legal definition of deceit, stating that their statement is deceptive.
Furthermore, it has the potential to deceive customers behaving reasonably under the circumstances to behave otherwise.
When viewed in the light of the packaging and website disclosures, the defendants argued that no rational user would find Tom’s use of the term “natural” misleading.
This isn’t the first time the Tom’s of Maine brand has been accused of deceptive or fraudulent ads.
Editor’s Note on Tom’s of Maine Class Action Lawsuit:
This article is published to inform you of the latest class action lawsuit filed against Tom’s of Maine due to allegedly faking their advertisements.
Case Name & No.: Anne de Lacour et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co. et al., Case No. 1:16-cv-08364, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Products/Services: Tom’s of Maine’s deodorant and toothpaste
Allegations: Tom’s of Maine wrongly marketed their products as “natural.”
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