Le Devoir sued for correctly reporting outrageous cookie claims

Le Devoir is apparently being sued by a cookie company because of an article that criticized the company for marketing cookies as encouraging weight loss and preventing cancer.

I can’t find the original article online, but the letter from the company in response is there: It says in no uncertain terms that the company has never suggested that its Praeventia brand cookies had these kinds of benefits:

Or jamais Leclerc n’a prétendu que les biscuits Praeventia avaient des vertus amaigrissantes.

Jamais l’entreprise n’a présenté ce produit «comme un aliment anticancer»

Well, I guess that settles that, then.

Here’s the thing:

Screenshot from Praeventia\'s website

This web page includes the words “prevent certain cancers” three times. And though the company may be correct that they don’t claim it’ll cause weight loss, they certainly imply it pretty hard here (the words “weight control” also appear in the text).

Note to Biscuits Leclerc: Before you file your lawsuit, be sure to scrub exculpatory evidence from your website first.

6 thoughts on “Le Devoir sued for correctly reporting outrageous cookie claims

  1. James Lawlor

    The article in question can be found here:
    http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/04/05/183318.html

    they say: “Leclerc tente indirectement de présenter ce produit au nom évocateur — praeventia signifie «prévention» en latin — comme un aliment anticancer.”

    but they also say
    “ces biscuits ne peuvent certainement pas revendiquer le statut de médicament capable de faire vivre les gens plus longtemps et de les mettre à l’abri de la maladie.”

    and
    “la fontaine de Jouvence n’existe pas. Et si elle devait exister, ce n’est certainement pas à l’aide d’un biscuit que l’humain pourrait y avoir accès. ”

    I think the journalist took their claims with a grain of salt. Hardly a open-and-shut case in court!

    Reply
  2. DAVE ID

    There are no such claims about the cookies on the image provided Steve. If you read correctly the fact sheet claims that antioxidants, oranges and whole grains offer these benefits, not the cookies. Legally this is tight in my opinion. They covered their asses and were able to let the implication slide in anyway.

    Reply
  3. Fagstein Post author

    Ah, so it’s just the ingredients that offer these benefits, not the cookies themselves?

    That’s supposed to make sense to the average person?

    Reply
  4. DAVE ID

    If the average person is a cretin, Leclerc can’t be blamed for that. The average person is supposed to be able to read and analyse what he just read.

    Seriously. I think it’s a lame ass marketing trick of saying the cookie is cancer fighting. But on another level I’m sick and tired of people’s Moron Nuremberg Defense. It’s getting old. Protect me from evil corporations because I’m a fraking idiot. Corporations are what they are and consumers enable them by buying their crap. Everyone seems to believe Wal Fart is evil and yet the stores are always packed and they continue to destroy communities and smaller businesses. It’s a 2 way street.

    People often get what they deserve.

    I’m feeling misanthropic tonight…

    Reply
  5. Mia

    These cookies taste great!

    I was afraid to taste them at the store, they seemed like franken-health food products that are actually junk food masquerading as health food. A friend let me try some and I am now a convert.

    Taste doesn’t lie and some of these Praeventia cookies are the BEST tasting cookies on the market at the moment!

    The con is that these cookies are very pricey it works out to over $10 per pound, but for an occasional treat I’ll take it, and the 30 gram serving seems filling probably because they are also high fibre cookies.

    And as for health claims use common sense, don’t eat overly processed food, stay away from junk food etc. we all know how to eat healthy. Do I find it ironic that wine or green tea extract is an ingredient in this cookie? Definately, but at the end of the day I only care about taste, and these are tasty.

    Reply
  6. belleville

    These praeventia ads have now made it to Ontario… they’re damn ridiculous and pretentious.
    It’s sad that morons are lining up to buy these horrible cookies and now they’re spreading around the country.

    Thanks for posting this proof that Praeventia cookies are just as big of a scam as garbage like those other probiotic scam products like activia, danactive and all that crap.

    Reply

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