Ohio AG settles deceptive marketing suit

Drew Smith Dec. 16, 2008, 8:53am

Nancy Rogers (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) -- Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers has reached a settlement agreement with a local restaurant and a marketing firm after it was alleged the two companies engaged in deceptive advertising.

Rogers claims OSU La Bamba and Campus Dimensions Inc. violated the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act when they attempted to persuade Ohio State University students to apply for credit cards.

The companies allegedly offered students a "free sandwich and drink" but failed to disclose that students would have to apply for a credit card in order to receive the food and drink.

Faculty and third-year students at the OSU Moritz College of Law filed the lawsuit in September 2007 and had been monitoring the credit card solicitation practices in the Columbus area for more than a year.

According to the settlement, the two companies will pay a civil penalty of $25,000 and surrender the $2,000 in profits from the marketing event.

Also, they agreed to not use any credit card marketing techniques that violate state law. This includes:
-Failing to clearly state the conditions of an offer,
-Using bait advertising,
-Using "free" without clearly setting forth all terms and obligations of the offer and
-Notifying consumers about a prize without disclosing any and all conditions necessary to get it.

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