i hate them and dont want to get sued

41 replies
i really hate GNC. ive learned a lot about their tactics, prodcuts, and how they are unwilling to fix some things. a lot of newbs in my niche/target market go here and get mis information. so i want to inform my audience about them, BUT i dont want to get sued for slander...or what ever.

so instead of saying GNC or general nutrition centers, can i write articles and make videos about

Garbage nutrition centers
or garbage nutrition crooks?
#hate #sued
  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

    i really hate GNC. ive learned a lot about their tactics, prodcuts, and how they are unwilling to fix some things. a lot of newbs in my niche/target market go here and get mis information. so i want to inform my audience about them, BUT i dont want to get sued for slander...or what ever.

    so instead of saying GNC or general nutrition centers, can i write articles and make videos about

    Garbage nutrition centers
    or garbage nutrition crooks?
    That's playing with fire, why even bother?
    Signature

    " You can either give a man a fish and feed him for a day OR teach him how to catch a fish and it will feed him for a lifetime"

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    • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
      because they are garbage. my target market needs to not buy or go there. they will get ripped off and get really bad info. they are better off with google, forums, and buying from other sites. gnc is soo over priced. they have products that dont work ,they know it and wont fix it or offer refunds.

      im bringing this up because i see it on TV ALL THE TIME!!! a talk show host once said "i was hungry last night, and wanted a 4th meal. so i grabbed TACOs, does this ring a BELL?"

      1 idk why she cant say taco bell

      2 she did that so she wasnt using their actual TM or whatever. but im under the impression she did this to get her point across/make a joke. public got the point; tacos, 4th meal, bell, but they cant sue her cause its wasnt TACO BELL
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        IN YOUR OPINION, they are garbage - doesn't mean others share your view.

        One person dissing the company isn't going to hurt product sales - but it could hurt you. It's also a huge waste of time to try to run a one-person crusade against some product or person you don't like.

        Unless you are a big name personality on TV or in marketing - writing complaints about a company you aren't involved with makes you look spiteful and petty and will only attract a fringe of people who also waste time complaining.

        Why choose a battle you have no chance of winning or profiting from?
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      • Profile picture of the author dremora
        You can leech off their traffic and direct the prospects to a squeeze page where they sign up to your autoresponder list. Then you can educate them (without naming names of course) and sell them better stuff.

        You can try and rank some mini review sites (with squeeze pages going to your newb mailing list) above them (go for synonyms and long tails with high search vol) you should have no problem stealing some of their traffic. If you have the ad spending budget, spy on their PPC keywords, see if you can afford it, and go from there, or alternatively use a cheaper ad platform like plentyoffish and facebook.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          If you are using the name to sell other stuff - that's a recipe for legal problems. Be careful what advice you take.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        because they are garbage. my target market needs to not buy or go there. they will get ripped off and get really bad info. they are better off with google, forums, and buying from other sites. gnc is soo over priced. they have products that dont work ,they know it and wont fix it or offer refunds.

        I am with the OP... Why risk the legal firestorm and mine field...

        Besides... Downing another company is often the worst way to market your company... Doing so will make you appear petty and irresponsible, so why would people want to buy from someone showing such disregard for the public to start a pissing match with a competitor?

        There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is definitely more than one way to skin this cat...

        Simply provide better information on your website... And caution your readers to be careful of the "generic" information they find online...

        Speak with authority, and tell your readers that you know they have the capability of seeing the common sense or lack thereof of advice offered by others, so don't let the size of the company fool them into thinking information that does not make sense is solid information...

        All you really need to do is to create concern as to the value of other content online, and to make people wonder if that "generic" other guy is telling the truth about your prospects' health...

        I would definitely push the idea that your customers' health is more important than selling products....

        Create in your information a sense of authority and truth, and in doing so, you will weaken the perceived value of competitors... Just don't be petty about it, and don't sling mud...

        You can only achieve the authority position, if your website is consistent throughout, giving solid information and acting in a responsible fashion...

        If you are irresponsible in matters of business, then your information will automatically be perceived as irresponsible in peoples' health matters, and that is the last thing you want your customers to see...
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        • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
          i should have made my self more clear. i have no product or company per say. my site is mainly informative. and i want to make money from ads and traffic, amazon, and bowflex.

          its not just me! i was upset about something that happened and found out hundreds of others did too on forums. Gnc wont do anything about it. also found out from people who worked there when you walk in they promote their products. even tho something else might be cheaper and better quality. i want to help new people with my subject/area. this is not a rant, not a 1 man army.

          i am not trying to profit from them or use their name for a squeeze page. i simply want to inform viewers on my site to not buy certain products and alert them of their sales tactics. im not going to point them to my product or my site. i dont have products lol!! i dont have a store or anything
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

            i should have made my self more clear. i have no product or company per say. my site is mainly informative. and i want to make money from ads and traffic, amazon, and bowflex.

            its not just me! i was upset about something that happened and found out hundreds of others did too on forums. Gnc wont do anything about it. also found out from people who worked there when you walk in they promote their products. even tho something else might be cheaper and better quality. i want to help new people with my subject/area. this is not a rant, not a 1 man army.

            i am not trying to profit from them or use their name for a squeeze page. i simply want to inform viewers on my site to not buy certain products and alert them of their sales tactics. im not going to point them to my product or my site. i dont have products lol!! i dont have a store or anything

            But, forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't GNC in the business of making a profit?

            Pharmacies do this all the time... They insist that we should buy the name-brand product, even when they know the generic behind the counter is just as good and less than half the money...

            Wal-Mart even does it... The kings of the cost-cutters... When there is competition in town for a product, they cut prices... When they run the competition out of town, they raise prices...

            Some grocers use similar tactics... They run an ad in the paper offering nice discounts on some products... They pray that when we are in the store, we buy other stuff that they have marked higher than all of their competitors...

            All businesses employ tactics to ensure that the business earns a profit... You don't have to buy from one store or another, so if you don't like the sales tactics they use, buy somewhere else...
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          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

            also found out from people who worked there when you walk in they promote their products. even tho something else might be cheaper and better quality.
            That's pretty normal business as usual stuff ... certainly not rant material.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        because they are garbage. my target market needs to not buy or go there. they will get ripped off and get really bad info. they are better off with google, forums, and buying from other sites. gnc is soo over priced. they have products that dont work ,they know it and wont fix it or offer refunds.

        It doesn't sound like you have any legitimate claims against this company ... just ... I hate them, they're overpriced, blah blah blah.

        In order to use their trademark as Fair Use, you would have to post a non-commercial site with legitimate claims against the company. You are risking not only trademark infringement but being sued for libel.

        I wouldn't bother with it if I were you. Here's an example of legitimate Fair Use.

        http://hughesnetripoff.com
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        because they are garbage. my target market needs to not buy or go there. they will get ripped off and get really bad info. they are better off with google, forums, and buying from other sites. gnc is soo over priced. they have products that dont work ,they know it and wont fix it or offer refunds.

        im bringing this up because i see it on TV ALL THE TIME!!! a talk show host once said "i was hungry last night, and wanted a 4th meal. so i grabbed TACOs, does this ring a BELL?"

        1 idk why she cant say taco bell

        2 she did that so she wasnt using their actual TM or whatever. but im under the impression she did this to get her point across/make a joke. public got the point; tacos, 4th meal, bell, but they cant sue her cause its wasnt TACO BELL
        1. She could mention it, if her employer allows it. What are they going to sue her for, recommending their company?

        2. The most likely reason she didn't mention the name directly(besides trying to be funny) is because they like to get paid for advertising, not give it away for free.
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        • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
          carl kelly! thank you that makes so much more sense. and that is what i thought. i really do believe you. "in my opinion" or "my experience" its truth. i am not claiming.."gnc is a scam. they use false advertising. bad creatine. fake protein...blah blah"
          there is no proof there and ya that does sound illegal, not my intention.
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          • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
            Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

            carl kelly! thank you that makes so much more sense. and that is what i thought. i really do believe you. "in my opinion" or "my experience" its truth. i am not claiming.."gnc is a scam. they use false advertising. bad creatine. fake protein...blah blah"
            there is no proof there and ya that does sound illegal, not my intention.
            GNC is crap! Their vitamins are truly overpriced. Back in the old days when I use to powerlift, I would go to a discount vitamin/nutrition shop, that had the same stuff as GNC and the prices were 40-50% off.

            The reason why GNC is so big is because of their marketing and branding, other than that, there is nothing special about GNC.
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            • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
              magic show yes!! thank you. and a lot of guys dont know that. and i didnt either. i lost a lot of money and gained a lot of bad info. tisk tisk

              the more i troll forums the more i learn guys shop at gnc wasting $50 on a name brand that costs 31 at vitamin shoppe or they are buying junk GNC products
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

          well thank you for the help. im getting better ideas. supplement companies just prey on the masses. ill say stuff in real life (versus internet) and they say "no way! i never knew that!" and my response is always, are you kidding me.
          You can talk about supplement companies in general without naming them by name and make the same points you wanted to make. Your readers will then know what to watch out for no matter which company they are considering buying from. Wouldn't that serve a larger purpose than just ranting about one company?
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    • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
      Originally Posted by TheMagicShow View Post

      That's playing with fire, why even bother?
      An excellent question - what do you hope to gain from it?

      I'm sure I speak for a few other marketers who envy you for having enough spare time to waste on a fruitless effort like this one. But if you really insist I suggest you join a few of the health and nutrition related forums and make some quality posts about them there.

      And BTW, by quality I mean not posts like "GNC Sucks" or rants like your second post which claims they are "garbage" without any supporting statements. Instead make an intelligently written post outlining any deceptive business practices you have experienced with them.

      If you have a legitimate concern with them file a complaint with the BBB.

      Lot's of large corporations are "hated" by many people - cell phone and cable TV companies come to mind. Posts with titles and content like this one don't do any harm to them, but do wonders to degrading the reputation of the writer.

      Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I don't know anything about the legalities of your question but I agree wholeheartedly about GNC. I haven't bought anything from them in probably 15 years or more for that reason. Interesting that they still have that reputation.
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  • Profile picture of the author jayauthor
    BPIcash:

    Unless you have documented proof, you should not go in this direction. If you have any legitimate issues with them, you should take it with them. The best course of action is just take another road rather wasting your energy on this!

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
      how can i get sued for libel if garbage nutrition center doesnt exist. im making up a name for viewers, tho not using general nutrition center
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        how can i get sued for libel if garbage nutrition center doesnt exist. im making up a name for viewers, tho not using general nutrition center
        If you make it clear enough that your readers will know who you're referring to, then don't you think it would be clear enough for a court to consider your words as libelous?

        And if your words are not clear enough to let your readers know who you're talking about, then what's the point of writing it?
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        Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        how can i get sued for libel if garbage nutrition center doesnt exist. im making up a name for viewers, tho not using general nutrition center

        Because any reasonable person can make the inference that you are targeting the GNC-franchise to harm their trademark...

        All they have to prove in court is if "a reasonable person can assume" that you are targeting the General Nutrition Center trademark... If that is proven, you are hosed...

        If you are willing to give up your family's prosperity for what remains of your lifetime... Step up to the plate and do what you want to do...

        But if you believe as we do that "you have a legitimate right not to give the company any of your money", then you can save your financial future...

        They will squash you like a bug if you want to pursue the course of action you are suggesting...

        But you have the God-given right to be stupid, if you want to do so, so do with our advice what you will...
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        • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
          ok i was not aware of all this. because i read and view all the time "there is a company out there called king of burgers...blah blah" or like dave chappel did a skit with whack donalds. i thought i could only get in trouble for saying GNC or being part of slander or libel. but if i create a name for viewers thats made up and not attackable.

          this all goes back to my original post. with ellen degeneres talking about taco bell. all viewers knew what she meant, but for w.e reason she couldnt say taco bell. she had to say "i wanted a taco. does this ring a bell anyone?" see viewer can put it together with 2 seperate sentences, but if taco bell viewed this show, what could they do?
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

            ok i was not aware of all this. because i read and view all the time "there is a company out there called king of burgers...blah blah" or like dave chappel did a skit with whack donalds. i thought i could only get in trouble for saying GNC or being part of slander or libel. but if i create a name for viewers thats made up and not attackable.

            this all goes back to my original post. with ellen degeneres talking about taco bell. all viewers knew what she meant, but for w.e reason she couldnt say taco bell. she had to say "i wanted a taco. does this ring a bell anyone?" see viewer can put it together with 2 seperate sentences, but if taco bell viewed this show, what could they do?

            There is a certain amount of freedom when you are a comedian...

            You can do a "parody" of GNC and probably be protected by the first amendment, but you would need to clear all content on your website with your attorney before making it public...

            The courts have generally held that if you are doing a parody of someone public or a public company, then you are free to do so... Larry Flynt at Hustler Magazine has been winning cases on this merit for years...

            Specifically, refer to the case of Jerry Falwell vs. Larry Flynt...

            Flynt roasted Fallwell in Hustler Magazine... Falwell sued and eventually lost...

            This is from the Wikipedia:

            In November 1983, Larry Flynt's pornographic magazine Hustler carried a parody advertisement of a Campari ad, featuring a fake interview with Falwell in which he admits that his "first time" was incest with his mother in an outhouse while drunk.

            Falwell sued for $45 million in compensation alleging invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

            A jury rejected the invasion of privacy and libel claims, holding that the parody could not have reasonably been taken to describe true events, but ruled in favor of Falwell on the emotional distress claim. This was upheld on appeal.

            Flynt then appealed to the Supreme Court, winning a unanimous decision on February 24, 1988. The ruling held that public figures cannot circumvent First Amendment protections by attempting to recover damages based on emotional distress suffered from parodies.

            The decision in favor of Flynt strengthened free speech rights in the United States in relation to parodies of public figures.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

        how can i get sued for libel if garbage nutrition center doesnt exist. im making up a name for viewers, tho not using general nutrition center
        Well, for one thing...this thread is now here to help them prove intent.
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        "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
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        • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
          alright well ill comprimise. i wasnt trying to spend a whole webiste and hours and weeks on attacking this company. just a simple 1 or 2 videos or 1 article on gnc among my over 100 articles. it wouldnt be too much wasted time!!! i just wanted to help.

          on a lot of forums these kids and young men get suckered into gnc. they walk in, and walk out spending lots of money on crap products. i did at first. regret it now. and i want to help them not do this.

          after purchasing a product of theirs and it passed thru me whole i found out a lot of others have this problem. 1 gnc would not let me return even though i had print outs of other claims. they wont fix how they make the product. all he did was sell me a pill crusher, a GNC ONE!!, to get them more money. that didnt work. so i couldnt return pill crusher cause once opened, and same with product.

          now im not pissed. this was over a yr ago. i just thought i would inform other young men as i work on my site. this is not a rant or out to get them. more like saving men going thru what i did
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

            alright well ill comprimise. i wasnt trying to spend a whole webiste and hours and weeks on attacking this company. just a simple 1 or 2 videos or 1 article on gnc among my over 100 articles. it wouldnt be too much wasted time!!! i just wanted to help.

            on a lot of forums these kids and young men get suckered into gnc. they walk in, and walk out spending lots of money on crap products. i did at first. regret it now. and i want to help them not do this.

            after purchasing a product of theirs and it passed thru me whole i found out a lot of others have this problem. 1 gnc would not let me return even though i had print outs of other claims. they wont fix how they make the product. all he did was sell me a pill crusher, a GNC ONE!!, to get them more money. that didnt work. so i couldnt return pill crusher cause once opened, and same with product.

            now im not pissed. this was over a yr ago. i just thought i would inform other young men as i work on my site. this is not a rant or out to get them. more like saving men going thru what i did

            I will compromise too...

            The general consensus is that you should not waste your time with this any further...

            But if you want to spend the time on it, then by all means, knock yourself out...

            If you only take one piece of advice from us, let it be that you should have your content reviewed by an attorney, before you put it online...

            And if you want to skip the attorney... That is also your right to do...

            Maybe we are wrong... Maybe GNC will react as if you were nothing more than a gnat on an elephants' butt...

            And maybe you will be able to save some poor schmuck some money and feel good about yourself for doing it...
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            • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
              well thank you for the help. im getting better ideas. supplement companies just prey on the masses. ill say stuff in real life (versus internet) and they say "no way! i never knew that!" and my response is always, are you kidding me.

              i might just use words like "brick and mortar stores" or if you go to one of these nutrition stores in your town. idk...buying off line is cheaper, and one can find quality products.

              the reason im glad this thread is so long is because ive been curious about this for a long time and it never got it answered.

              ps please help here!!!
              doing you tube videos wearing a puma shirt or pumas shoes, do i have to blur that out? jay leno does this some times on the streets of new york. can i not have brand names showing in my videos?!?!
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              • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
                same with pictures and articles. i took some pictures of my grocery shopping. my mom said i cannot use pics of my V8 juice. i would have to pour it into a glass, take a pic, and then write an article on veggie juice.

                idk im stressed over logos and stuff in videos
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

                well thank you for the help. im getting better ideas. supplement companies just prey on the masses. ill say stuff in real life (versus internet) and they say "no way! i never knew that!" and my response is always, are you kidding me.

                i might just use words like "brick and mortar stores" or if you go to one of these nutrition stores in your town. idk...buying off line is cheaper, and one can find quality products.
                I think you meant "buying online is cheaper"... LOL



                Originally Posted by BPIcash View Post

                the reason im glad this thread is so long is because ive been curious about this for a long time and it never got it answered.

                ps please help here!!!
                doing you tube videos wearing a puma shirt or pumas shoes, do i have to blur that out? jay leno does this some times on the streets of new york. can i not have brand names showing in my videos?!?!
                Jay Leno blurs that stuff out, because he doesn't want to give free national advertising to those companies who don't pay him for ad slots...

                It is not something that must be done, but it is something he chooses to do, to protect the advertising value earned by his paying customers....


                p.s. TheMagicShow: My favorite twist on your signature is:

                You can build a man a fire and keep him warm for a day, or you can set him on fire and keep him warm for the rest of his life....
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                Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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                • Profile picture of the author BPIcash
                  thank you both. ya i will not put to much energy into this. every one here has made this a good day for me ...believe it or not.

                  and for youtube thanks!! this is great. i can wear all my t shirts and hats. i dont have to worry about logos or brands getting mad at me .

                  see i thought those companies made public people blurr it because the company didnt want to be known as being associated with that person if they do something wrong, get in a law suit, or provide wrong info.
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  • Profile picture of the author deloriagod
    I think you're going to waste a lot of time if you go through with this. You're going to show some people some information that may or may not be true (you better have clear evidence if you want to attack them). At the same time, you and your website are going to build a reputation for that.

    Or you could put your time into bringing people quality information about your niche instead. In that way, you build a reputation for delivering good information and people begin to trust what you have to say.

    Maybe it's just me, but the best option isn't hard to see. If you really want to do it your way, go ahead and hire a lawyer now.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    my site is mainly informative. and i want to make money from ads and traffic, amazon, and bowflex.
    Maybe you should just focus on the positive aspects of whatever the products you want to make money with are instead of the negatives of GNC. It will probably be better for you in the long run.

    Plus, I don't really see anything wrong with a company promoting it's own products, I mean isn't that mainly what this forum is all about, how we can better promote our products (either your own or affiliate ones you are getting commissions for..).

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    BPI,

    your thread just reminded me of something, I was with AOL from day 1 until late 2004. I wanted to write an ebook, flaming them on their lack of security and how most were
    losing their passwords to phishing scams.

    I was sick of aol and how they never cared to secure their services. I did not write the ebook because, the consequences could have been very costly. No need to make your life harder, just move on.

    I also, wanted to profit while helping the masses, but I moved on.
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    " You can either give a man a fish and feed him for a day OR teach him how to catch a fish and it will feed him for a lifetime"

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  • Truth isn't slander.

    But why would you want to pick a fight with someone who can kick your A##

    Pick the fights you can win... or forget about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Let me preface this by saying you need to check with a lawyer...

    You are allowed to have an opinion, and you are allowed to express it. If you state that it is your opinion that GNC is overpriced, then GNC has no legal standing to recover anything from you because you are entitled to your opinion. You can say that in your opinion their products are inferior. Again, you are allowed to make your opinion public.

    You run into trouble when you make statements of fact that are false. For instance, if you wrote that "XXXX company uses fecal material to manufacture their face cream" and they don't, then you've made a defamatory statement. If, on the other hand, you say: "In my opinion, XXXX company's face cream smells like dog crap" then you are not making a false statement of fact.

    MLRC | Libel FAQs
    The statement(s) alleged to be defamatory must also be a false statement of fact. That which is name-calling, hyperbole, or, however characterized, cannot be proven true or false, cannot be the subject of a libel or slander claim.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
    you want people to know you hate them or to make informed decisions?

    how about choosing supplement by supplement and making a comparative chart where you show composition, what it does etc... showing that every time, there is another brand that gives more for less?

    then, make a set of general articles talking about the power of advertising in branding in your niche, and how it is not related to the quality product...

    explain how branding implies to expend big amounts of money and that is translated to the prices, i.e. the consumer pays for the advertising, not the product.

    these should be informative articles...

    I am not attorney, so this is not legal advice... but it is just information available to the public. Not enough to get sued... if you take your emotions out of the way.

    Sandra
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  • Profile picture of the author simonsstuart
    Get yourself a good lawyer (not always expensive) and just pay attention to his (or her) advice if you are hell bent on going down this route.
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    • Profile picture of the author suaveymcsuave
      I see a lot of good comments about this. In the end it all comes down to it's an opinion that GNC is garbage. I remember asking somebody for an article idea for the fun of it and they gave me, "Why do mortgage companies lie." That is interesting, however, that is an opinion. Just because they had an unfavorable experience doesn't mean the majority feels that way.

      Then again opinion pieces are always something worth reading. It's your voice so SOUND IT! Just make sure to cover bases legally first.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Just tell your experience, no need to get their litigation department onto you, give your experience but state this is your experience alone it might be different for others, a disclaimer if you will
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    • Profile picture of the author plifter
      I can tell you for sure you are getting ripped off there. the vitamin I buy called more than a multiple is 35 bucks there including tax. I took a look at there products too they make them sound good but when you look at the label it is full of chemicals. The small guy also charges that 35 for more than a multiple too.

      I only buy from nutrition express and I buy a 2 months supply for the more than a multiple for 45 dollars. this is kind of off topic but just wanted to tell my experiance of course I am at customer end. If you use garbage nutrition centers or something else and they discover it I don't they you will be sued but you will lose your site if they see it as damaging to there business.

      I would write it as the dirty tricks of the vitamin stores or how bad the customer service is at the big chains vitamin stores and how you are getting ripped off. then discribe how people are getting screw. there are only if any 5 chains, maybe not even that so people who buy vitamins will know who you are talking about.
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