Use our coupons, just don’t sue us

General Mills has stirred up some unwanted publicity by imposing a new policy on users of its digital coupons. The “terms of service” apparently prevent users from suing the giant CPG company in the event of a product liability issue. (I’m paraphrasing.) This issue has caught the attention of many RetailWire panelists, including this one:

Part of the problem is that digital and print coupons are increasingly seen as the same thing, in the eyes of customers. Younger consumers who are not newspaper readers are less likely to be “coupon clippers” and more likely to respond to online or mobile offers as time goes by. In that context, how does General Mills differentiate legally between a print coupon user with a product liability claim, and somebody using a digital coupon? Either way, I agree with my fellow panelists that this is not a well-considered PR policy, outside of the legal firewall that the attorneys are trying to create.


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