Zale's, Sterling Settle Suit Over Deceptive Ad Charge
Sterling Jewelers and competitor Zale’s have settled a court dispute over advertising claims by Zale’s that its Celebration Diamonds are the “most brilliant diamonds in the world.”
Terms of the final agreement aren’t being disclosed but Zale’s has confirmed that those terms take effect in March of 2014.
A Zale’s rep declined to comment when asked if the company would continue to use the “most brilliant diamonds in the world” claim in its marketing campaigns.
Sterling filed suit over the Zale’s advertising in Federal Court in Ohio in November 2012 in the midst of the holiday sales season, arguing that Zale’s had not backed up the “most brilliant” claim. In its initial complaint Sterling asserted that Zale’s tested diamonds that were sold by only a limited number of jewelry chains -- and none outside the U.S., and that therefore the claim was by definition deceptive.
At the time, Sterling asked for a preliminary injunction barring Zale’s from making the claims asserting it would be “irreparably harmed” by the loss of business during one of its busiest times of the year.
But Judge John R. Adams of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio disagreed, ruling that the damage to Sterling “at most would be lost sales and lost customers -- both items that could be remedied through an award of monetary damages.”
After months of back and forth, the two companies entered settlement negotiations. Judge Adams issued an order dismissing the case at the request of the litigants last month.