Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel

These Prices are Healthy?!: GNC Sued for Alleged Fake Pricing


These Prices are Healthy?!: GNC Sued for Alleged Fake Pricing

What’s the News?

A recent lawsuit filed against GNC serves as a reminder that companies need to ensure that prices listed as “regular prices” are substantiated.

Background on the Case

The complaint in a class action recently filed against the nutrition and supplements retailer alleges that GNC deceptively lists items on its website as having a deceptive “regular price” and a substantially lower “sales price.” The regular price is either marked down or grayed out in a manner that makes customers believe the sales price is a substantial discount over the price that the items were formerly sold for (see below for an example of the markdowns contained in the complaint). 
The complaint claims that these markdowns are deceptive because the listed regular price is not:

  • A bona fide price at which GNC offered the product in recent months; or
  • A prevailing market price within the preceding three months prior to publication of the price.

The complaint alleges that the pricing scheme violates guidance from the Federal Trade Commission and a California law that sets standards for former price advertisements.

What’s the Takeaway?

This case follows a series of other pending cases filed against retailers alleging the use of fictitious sales pricing. Similar cases have been filed against Macy’s and JC Penney. Companies should remember that advertising discounts and sale prices are legal but the prices advertised (both regular and sale) must have a legal basis and be in compliance with federal guidance and applicable state laws. For information on how to get your pricing methods in compliance, please contact Sarah L. Bruno or Matthew R. Mills.


Add this blog to your RSS feed reader.

Arent Fox In Your Inbox
To subscribe to Arent Fox Alerts and other news, click here.


Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.