Court Rules Against Procter & Gamble

AP, Jan. 7, 2003
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/
By PATTY HENETZ

SALT LAKE CITY — An appeals court has upheld the decision of a federal judge who dismissed a lawsuit accusing Amway Corp. of spreading rumors linking Procter & Gamble to devil worship.

The unanimous decision Monday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed with a 2001 ruling that the rumors were not defamatory and that P&G had not made a case for specific damages.

The lawsuit was one of several Cincinnati-based P&G filed after rumors began circulating in the early 1980s that the company’s logo – a bearded, crescent man-in-the-moon looking over a field of 13 stars – was a symbol of Satanism.

P&G claimed distributors for Amway revived the rumors in 1995, using a voice mail system to tell thousands of customers that part of Procter & Gamble’s profits go to Satanic cults. Ada, Mich.-based Amway sells household products, many of which compete with P&G’s products, directly to customers.

P&G spokeswoman Linda Ulrey said Tuesday that the company was disappointed with the ruling. “We believe it is wrong for anybody to spread false rumors against our company,” Ulrey said.

In a statement Tuesday, Amway general counsel Michael Mohr said the company wasn’t surprised that Amway “has been completely vindicated in this ridiculous case. We never spread the rumor – in fact, we spent years helping P&G fight it.”

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