Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Skittles Lawsuit Alleges the Fruit Candy Is ‘Unfit for Human Consumption’


A California lawsuit says Mars didn’t warn consumers of the health problems associated with the use of titanium dioxide in Skittles.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is false advertising? Does this news story represent an example of false advertising? Why or why not?
  2. What is labeling as it relates to marketing?
  3. Why is labeling an important aspect of marketing?
  4. Why do you think the United States government regulates things like product labels and product ingredients?
  5. What U.S. government organization is responsible for regulating the ingredients of products like Skittles or other candy?
  6. What are ethics?
  7. Why are ethics important in business?
  8. Is there a difference between ethical behavior and illegal behavior?
  9. If the allegations about Mars failing to warn consumers about one of the ingredients in Skittles candy are true, do you feel they acted unethically? Why or why not?
  10. Do you, or have you, eaten Skittles candy?
  11. How does this lawsuit impact your perception of the brand?
  12. What is publicity?
  13. Even if Skittles wins the lawsuit and the allegations are proven untrue, do you think the negative publicity will have a long-lasting effect on the brand?
  14. Might it impact candy sales? Be prepared to discuss your answers in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.