Chocolate Easter bunnies were smaller than advertised, new class action claims

Kelly Holleran Apr. 1, 2010, 3:00am

Hoppy, the 'enormous' chocolate bunny

Hoppy, the little Easter bunny

A class action suit filed in Madison County Circuit Court claims Illinois consumers were victims of deceptive advertising involving Hershey's "Hoppy the Giant Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny."

The suit filed last week alleges that Pennsylvania-based The Hershey Co. and Arkansas-based Wal-Mart fraudulently used images of a 14-inch long, 20-ounce "Hoppy" bunny in an advertisement to lure customers into stores. But, customers were only given the option of purchasing a much smaller, hollow 1.5 ounce chocolate "Hoppy" bunny, the suit claims.

Because the bunnies available for purchase were much smaller than advertised, the suit claims customers would have to purchase more than 13 times the number of 1.5 ounce bunnies to get the equivalent of the larger bunny that appeared in the defendants' advertising.

"The false claim: 'This enormous milk chocolate bunny will keep you nibbling all Easter morning long, and perhaps all afternoon as well' is maliciously deceptive," the suit states.

The proposed class, led by Sally Marshall of Belleville, claims that Hershey and Wal-Mart are reaping huge profits at the expense of consumers' best interest.

They claim that Hershey and Wal-Mart will share in the estimated $1.9 billion Easter candy profit this year, up from the $1.8 billion profit last year.

"It is wrong for corporations to profit from the despicable behavior described herein," the suit claims.

Plaintiffs' attorneys are not named in the complaint, because the complaint does not exist. Happy April Fool's Day!

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