• General Mills settles Yo-Plus class action
General Mills Inc. agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing the company of falsely advertising the digestive health benefits of its Yo-Plus probiotic yogurt.
“We stand behind our products and the accuracy of our label – and we disagreed with plaintiffs on the merit of this case. But we agreed to resolve the matter to avoid further litigation,” General Mills noted in corporate statement following the announcement.
General Mills no longer sells Yo-Plus.
The class action complaint against General Mills alleged the company had no scientific support for Yo-Plus digestive health advertising claims. The alleged misleading advertisements allowed General Mills to charge up to a 44% price premium for Yo-Plus over Yoplait Original brand yogurt.
Consumers who purchased Yo-Plus in the U.S. between July 26, 2007, and July 5, 2012, will be entitled to $4 each for each unit they purchased, up to 13 units.
Any unclaimed funds from the $8.5 million class action lawsuit settlement will be distributed to the National Consumer Law Center and the Mayo Clinic, which will support Mayo’s nationwide public education efforts around nutrition and gastrointestinal health.
“Considering the strengths and weakness of this case, including the amount of potential damages available to the class after trial here and in other jurisdictions around the United States, the settlement represents an excellent result and includes relief for purchasers of YoPlus on a nationwide basis,” the plaintiffs said in a motion to approve the settlement.
General Mills has a large sales office in Rogers and is a major supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
• Old Navy tapped a new global chief marketing officer
Ivan Wicksteed, who most recently served as chief marketer for Cole Haan, will take on the role of global chief marketing officer, overseeing marketing and store design.
The Gap Inc.-owned retailer had been without a chief marketer since the summer of 2011.
Wicksteed will be relocating from New York to San Francisco, where he will report to Stefan Larsson, global president at Old Navy.
He has previously worked on the client side at Cole Haan, Coca-Cola and Converse, as well as the agency side at TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, and Ammirati Puris Lintas, London.
Old Navy competes with Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in some apparel categories.