Less than three weeks after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter advising Avon Products that marketing claims for some of its Anew® beauty products violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a California resident filed a putative class action against the company claiming that class members did not get the benefit of their bargain in purchasing the products. Trujillo v. Avon Prods., Inc., No. CV12-09084 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., filed October 23, 2012). Additional details about FDA’s letter appear in the October 25, 2012, issue of this Report.
The complaint calls the company’s marketing claims “incredible,” but alleges that a nationwide class and statewide subclass of consumers were misled by the statements, stating “Avon used aggressive marketing to mislead consumers into believing that the Avon Anti-Aging Products were bottled at the fountain of youth. Indeed, Avon preys upon consumers who fear the effects of aging and believe there are products that can make their skin and features youthful again, and halt or turn back the inevitable hands of time.” The plaintiff refers to the FDA letter and in fact targets most of the products that FDA cited in it.
As to the putative statewide subclass, the plaintiff alleges violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and reserves the right to claim damages in addition to injunctive relief under this statute at a later date. She also alleges violations of the California Unfair Business Practices Act and False Advertising Law. On behalf of the putative nationwide class, the plaintiff alleges breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violation of the New York Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, restitution and disgorgement, declaratory and injunctive relief including corrective advertising, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest.