Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,900+ case briefs...

Warner-Lambert Co. v. Federal Trade Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
562 F.2d 749 (1977)


Warner-Lambert Co. (Warner) (defendant) sold Listerine brand mouthwash. Listerine was first sold in 1879, and, since then, Warner had claimed that Listerine prevented or cured colds and sore throats. In 1921, Warner began actively promoting Listerine’s purported cold and sore-throat benefits with direct advertising to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (plaintiff) filed a complaint, arguing that Warner violated § 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) by misrepresenting that Listerine helped cure common colds and sore throats. The FTC presented survey evidence indicating that 70 percent of the public believed Listerine to be effective for treating colds and sore throats. Finding Warner’s claims about Listerine to be false, the administrative-law judge issued a cease and desist order, requiring Warner to stop advertising Listerine’s efficacy with respect to colds and sore throats. The order also required Warner to run advertisements with the following language: “Contrary to prior advertising, Listerine will not help prevent colds or sore throats or lessen their severity.” The commission affirmed the judge’s order, and Warner appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wright, J.)

Dissent (Robb, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 284,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,900 briefs, keyed to 201 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.