A California woman actually sued the makers of Diet Dr Pepper for fraud because she didn’t lose weight drinking a diet drink. Shana Becerra argued that she had been drinking Diet Dr Pepper for 13 years and “did not receive what she paid for” because of deceptive advertising.
It should come as absolutely no surprise that she lost her case in the trial court and on appeal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to reinstate her class-action lawsuit for fraud.
The court held that, when used as an adjective, the dictionary definition of “diet” refers to a product that has fewer calories that the “regular” version of the product, and is not a weight loss promise. Judge Jay Bybee wrote that, “No reasonable consumer would assume that Diet Dr Pepper’s use of the term ‘diet’ promises weight loss or management.”
In upholding a lower court’s dismissal of her suit, the court also did not find Becerra’s argument persuasive that the use of “attractive, fit models in the ads implies that Diet Dr Pepper will help its consumers achieve those bodies.”
Here is the article from NBC Los Angeles on this case: