Remember the classic ‘90s TV commercial shot from the perspective of a golden retriever tortured by the smell of bacon in the air?
“It’s Bacon!” he shouts.
“No, it’s Beggin’ Strips!” his owner says with a smirk.
The ad spells out that dogs think the treats are bacon, but that’s not actually the case.
Try telling that to Paul Kacocha, who filed a class action against Beggin’ Strips maker Nestle Purina Petcare Co. He says he wouldn’t have paid a premium price for the treats for his West Highland terrier Sophie and her “predecessor” Tyler if he had known real bacon isn’t a primary ingredient.
He says he relied on a later version of Purina’s ad in which a voiceover touts, “Made with real bacon”:
But bacon and bacon fat are present only in “tiny quantities,” listed as the 10th and 12th ingredients on the package, Kacocha says.
Purina tried to dismiss the suit, but Judge Kenneth M. Karas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York thinks Kacocha may have a point.
He said in an Aug. 12 opinion that, based on the later ad, it’s believable that consumers could be misled by Purina’s statements.
It’s a close question, the judge said. If the plaintiff had alleged that he saw the “Dogs Don’t Know It’s Not Bacon” ad, Karas said he “doubts that this motion would be decided the same way.”
Of course, there’s always this possibility, pointed out on Twitter by David Ziff (@djsziff) of University of Washington Law:
My dog Washington wants to know, “Where’s the bacon??”
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