Procter & Gamble Co. v. Haugen

In a victory that ends a dozen years of litigation, our client Procter & Gamble (P&G) was awarded $19.25 million in a jury trial against four Amway distributors for spreading false rumors about a connection between P&G and Satanism. According to the rumors, P&G's president stated on a national talk show that the company gave a portion of its profits to the Church of Satan. Amway's distributors allegedly circulated these rumors through its company voice mail system and its distributor network to advance their own business.

Managing Principal Bruce Deal led an Analysis Group team that supported academic affiliate Professor John Hauser of MIT, who developed and implemented a scientific marketing study involving one-on-one interviews to assess consumers' reactions to these rumors and evaluate whether they would change their purchase decisions as a result. Our research showed that the rumors could have an impact on purchase decisions. Vice President Tamar Sisitsky also provided support on the case. U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart, who presided over the 10-day trial in Utah federal court, has the option of trebling and adding interest to the award.