Colgate Softsoap False Advertising Consumer Class Action
An Analysis Group team was retained by Colgate-Palmolive to address class certification issues in a false advertising consumer class action. Plaintiffs alleged that Colgate's advertising for its Softsoap antibacterial liquid hand soap contained misleading statements regarding its efficacy in eliminating germs as well as its benefits over soap without antibacterial qualities. The team, led by Managing Principal Jeffrey Kinrich and Vice President Mark Gustafson, analyzed issues of commonality related to price. Specifically, they analyzed wholesale price lists and demonstrated that antibacterial products were not sold at a premium relative to non-antibacterial products. The team also analyzed retail price data and coupon data to demonstrate the lack of a premium relative to non-antibacterial Softsoap formulation, as well as the variability by channel, by geography, and over time. The team also prepared to rebut the plaintiffs' damages theory. The case settled before the court ruled on class certification.