Supplement review guide not disguised advertising despite cozy relationship with one manufacturer

Ariix, LLC v. Nutrisearch Corp., No. 17CV320, 2018 WL 1456928 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 23, 2018)Ariix competes with Usana Health Sciences in the nutritional supplement market.  NutriSearch publishes the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, “a guide to nutritional products that is relied on by consumers and professionals.” The Guide’s Gold Medal of Achievement has gone to four different companies:Ariix made a vigorous effort to qualify for the Gold Medal, but was denied. According to the complaint, NutriSearch admitted Ariix had met the standard, but refused to award the company the Gold Medal because it was reworking its criteria for the distinction. The existing Gold Medal holders, including Usana, were “grandfathered” in during this period. The allegedly false representations were (1) that Ariix or its products are not as good as Usana or its products and (2) that NutriSearch claims to be objective and neutral but is actually a…

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