Florida woman sues chocolate company, claiming false advertising

TAMPA, Fla. — Update: A previous version of the story said the demand was for $5 billion, as reported on the federal court system’s website. Attorneys said the demand was most likely inputted incorrectly.

A Tampa-area woman has filed a federal lawsuit against The Hershey Company, claiming its autumn and winter-related Reese’s treats were advertised deceptively because they did not contain details like mouths and eyes as seen on the packaging.

Cynthia Kelly sued the Delaware-based company for more than $5 million in Florida’s Middle District Court Thursday.


She said the products included in her class-action suit included Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, Reese’s White Pumpkins, Reese’s Pieces Pumpkins, Reese’s Peanut Butter Ghost, Reese’s White Ghost, Reese’s Peanut Butter Bats, Reese’s Peanut Butter footballs, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Shapes Assortment Snowmen Stockings Bells.

“Hershey’s labels for the Products are materially misleading and numerous consumers have been tricked and misled by the pictures on the Products’ packaging,” the lawsuit stated.

Check out images from lawsuit:

The document included a gallery of photos comparing products’ packaging to their actual shapes, including the football shape that Kelly said looked more like an egg. It suggested alternate packaging edited to feature more accurate depictions of the sweets they contained.

In filing, Kelley’s attorney, Delray Beach-based Anthony J. Russo, also included links to YouTube videos featuring creators complaining about the lack of detailing on the chocolates.

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“Reese’s what are you doing,” the lawsuit quoted. “Look at the picture on the packet. It’s like a pumpkin with faces and a little mouth -- then you open up the packet and you are presented with that monstrosity.”

Kelly said thousands of people had been harmed by the packaging disparities. In addition to the financial penalty, she is asking the judge to order the company to correct its packaging.

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Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has been assigned to the case.

Representatives of The Hershey Company did not immediately respond to WFTV’s request for comment.

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