Federal Judge Sides With Dannon, Yoplait In Chobani Ad Dustup
Published: February 1st, 2016
By: Matthew White

NORWICH – In January, Norwich-based greek yogurt producer Chobani filed a federal suit after facing heat from rival yogurt producers Dannon and Yoplait in response to a cease and desist letter petitoning Chobani to discontinue certain marketing measures.

Of the reputed television commercials, a judicial injunction was imposed last week in a Syracuse federal court, and Judge David N. Hurd ruled that while Chobani is free to continue to spread its message about the value of selecting natural ingredients; it not free to disseminate the false message that sucralose renders Dannon’s products unsafe to consume.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision granting a preliminary injunction to stop this misleading advertising which is causing fear about safe ingredients, and we look forward to full and final resolution of this matter. Dannon considers this first step a victory for consumers who love Light & Fit,” said Michael J. Neuwirth Dannon Senior Director of Public Relations.

In contrast to the district court's directive, Chobani executives continue to maintain a position that defends the leading greek yogurts core initiatives, insisting that the issue goes beyond mere marking.

“This is not a marketing campaign, it's a mindset campaign,” said Peter McGuinness who serves as Chobani's Chief of marketing and branding. “[It] outlines the difference between using only natural ingredients versus artificial ingredients.

But Dannon isn't buying it, and neither is Golden Valley, MN-based conglomerate General Mills.

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