Supreme Court Refuses to Hear False Ad Case
Pizza Hut originally sued Papa John's in 1998 over its advertising campaign that contained dozens of separate ads claiming Papa John's pizzas had superior ingredients and, therefore, better taste. A federal district court agreed with the jury. Specifically, the jury and the court held that Papa John's sauce, dough and taste test claims were false and misleading, and when combined with the "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza" slogan, the latter became false and misleading.
Last fall, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the jury verdict ruling that Papa John's advertising campaign was deceptive, but not "material" to consumers. In its petition to the Supreme Court, Pizza Hut argued that the appellate court departed from well-settled principles in false advertising law, which mandate that factual claims intended to influence consumer purchasing decisions must be truthful.