From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Federal Trade Commission v. Mary Carter Paint Co.
United States Supreme Court
382 U.S. 46 (1965)
Mary Carter Paint Company (Mary Carter) (defendant) sold buckets of paint. Mary Carter’s advertising used slogans like “buy one get one free” and “every second can free.” Mary Carter charged a price significantly higher than the customary retail price for a can of paint. Mary Carter never sold single cans of paint at any price. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (plaintiff) filed a complaint, arguing that Mary Carter was not offering customers anything for free. Rather, Mary Carter was increasing the price of one can of paint to cover the cost of two cans of paint, including the purportedly “free” can of paint. Therefore, the FTC argued, Mary Carter deceptively used the word “free,” in violation of § 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). The FTC entered a cease and desist order against Mary Carter, and the court of appeals set the order aside. The FTC petitioned for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, C.J.)
Dissent (Harlan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.