What is the “maximum” strength? Consumers recently filed two lawsuits against Walgreens, alleging that several types of pain relief patches were falsely advertised as “maximum strength” even though they did not contain as much of the advertised active ingredient as some competitors. In a case like these, properly designed consumer surveys could be used to measure what a “reasonable” consumer could interpret from a “maximum strength” label.
Class Action Case Facts
Walgreen’s sells pain relief patches that are advertised as “maximum strength” and contain 4% lidocaine, a topical anesthetic that dulls nerve endings on skin. However, a group of consumers alleges that the patches are not “maximum strength” because other patches on the market contain 5% lidocaine. They filed two lawsuits in Chicago federal court, alleging breach of warranty, fraud, and false advertising, among other claims.
Could Consumer Surveys Cause Walgreens to Feel the Pain?
Depending on the legal arguments at play in the case, there are at least two ways that consumer surveys and rebuttals by consumer survey experts could be used as evidence in this type of case. First, experts could design a survey that measures consumer perception of the meaning of the “maximum strength” claim on the Walgreens product. Second, because consumers in this case are seeking damages based on the price premium paid for this product, a conjoint survey could be useful in identifying the importance of the “maximum strength” claim to consumers who purchased Walgreens maximum strength product.
This case is ongoing, and the parties may still retain survey experts to test these issues and, if needed, testify in support of their results. When false and misleading advertising are at issue, consumer surveys can provide reliable evidence. MMR Strategy Group conducts reliable survey research and has testified in many cases concerning false and misleading advertising. Contact MMR Strategy Group to learn more about our expertise.