By lauradud84 / / Can an ad agency come under fire for representing a client’s product that may or may not cause cancer? That’s the latest question posed by recent lawsuits against Monsanto that also named Osborn & Barr as a co-defendant claiming, in essence, false advertising. The plaintiff’s accusation states that, “[Osborn & Barr] was integral to the marketing of glyphosate. There was no way for our clients to understand the risk they were taking because of the deception of Monsanto and Osborn & Barr.” The defense for O&B countered with, “Although cast in terms of ‘misrepresentations’ in an advertising campaign, Plaintiffs’ claims against the Osborn & Barr Defendants are really nothing more than an attempt to hold an advertising agency liable for bodily injuries supposedly incurred as a result of exposure to a defective product manufactured by an entirely different company. In other words, Plaintiffs are asserting product liability claims against a company that did nothing more than promote the allegedly defective product.” And, “Plaintiffs have not plead anything resembling a duty on the part of the Osborn & Barr Defendants to independently verify the manufacturer’s scientific data regarding a technical, complex product over two decades of providing service.” It’s an interesting case, for obvious reasons – if you can be tied to the work that you create for a client’s promotion, can you be held liable if you unwittingly promote a product that might cause cancer? We don’t think the case holds a snowballs chance of winning… but if it does, holy hell. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Read more at AdWeek or in the STLToday article.
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