AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here has changed the name of one of its blogs to “The Whole Deal” after Stop & Shop filed a lawsuit against the company for using the slogan “The Real Deal.”
In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of both Stop & Shop and its sister chain, Giant of Landover, Md., the Ahold-owned chains argue that Whole Foods' use of both the “Real Deal” and “Real Steal” slogans should not be allowed. The former is identical to a recently introduced Ahold advertising slogan, Stop & Shop claimed, and the latter is confusingly similar.
Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover said in their filing with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts that they had conceived of the “Real Deal” campaign this spring as part of a plan to showcase how consumers could save money in a weakened economy. The effort is supplemental to their “Low Prices Every Day” pitch that was a part of their Value Improvement Program.
Both chains began using the Real Deal program in May, allowing customers to earn points toward rewards such as free milk and discounts on gasoline and generic drugs.
“Stop & Shop and Giant have spent substantial sums … promoting their goods and services bearing the Real Deal mark,” the chains said it their lawsuit.
In the suit, Stop & Shop alleges that Whole Foods began using “The Real Deal” as the name of a blog on its website in June, and on July 17 launched a new marketing program called “The Real Deal” that was “aimed at combating its high-priced image.”
Whole Foods declined to comment.