Not everything is black and white. That's why we have to grapple with the gray.
Here is this episode's ethics challenge:
A woman recently sued Kraft Heinz for $5 million over misleading advertising. The company markets its Velveeta Shells & Cheese as being "ready in 3 1/2 minutes.” In fact, that's the amount of time each cup needs to be microwaved; but it doesn’t include the actual preparation process, from stirring in water to letting the cheese sauce thicken.
The 15-page class-action lawsuit states:
"As a result of the false and misleading representations, the Product is sold at a premium price.”
The plaintiff claims she chose Velveeta over other similar products because of the prep time prominently promised on its label. She wouldn't have bought it "had she known the truth."
As a side note, the plaintiff’s lawyer has reportedly filed over 400 similar lawsuits.
Granted that the preparation time promised was not entirely accurate, can it be considered sufficiently misleading to be considered false advertising? To what standard should manufacturers and marketers be held?
Is the response of a class action lawsuit and a $5 million claim proportionate, or do such cases do more harm than good by contributing to an already litigious society and straining an already inefficient legal system?
Join us on today at 5:00 pm ET on LinkedIn Live as we dive into this topic on Grappling with the Gray.
Meet this week’s panelists:
Tim Hawkes is managing director of Unlimited Potential Coaching Specialists in the UK and director of global operations. He is an international speaker and works with organizations to develop organizational culture.
Dr. Robyn Odegaard is a Concierge High Performance Psychologist who works with people who have to keep it together because the stakes are too high for them to fall apart. She is also the host of the Quick Hits Podcast, on which all of today’s panelists have appeared.
Stewart Wiggins is Chief Advisor at Induna Advisors, working to significantly increase company revenue by developing positive client reports and establishing solid business relationships.