Kasky v. Nike, Inc., 27 Cal. 4th 939 (2002), cert. granted, 537 U.S. 1099 (2003)

Marc Kasky sued Nike, Inc. on behalf of the general public of the State of California under Business and Professions Code sections 17204 and 17535 alleging that Nike—in response to public criticism and in an effort to induce consumers to continue to buy its products—made false statements of fact about its labor practices and about working conditions in factories that make its products in violation of California laws prohibiting unfair competition and false advertising.  Finding that the messages in question were “directed by a commercial speaker to a commercial audience, and because they made representations of fact about the speaker’s own business operations for the purpose of promoting sales of its products,” the California Supreme Court reversed the holding of the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal and held that the messages constituted “commercial speech” for the purpose of applying California’s unfair competition and false advertising laws.