Beyond Meat and PETA Text Messages to Cell Phones TCPA Class Action

Beyond Meat, Inc. has an interesting business: It makes alternatives to food products that come from animals. It’s not surprising, then, that they have partnered in at least one activity with the nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Unfortunately, that that activity is alleged to be sending consumers unwanted text messages, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). At least, so says the complaint for this class action.

Congress passed the TCPA in 1991, when telemarketing calls had become a real annoyance for many consumers, due to the proliferation of automated telecommunications equipment. Companies could reach tens of thousands of people per day—a good number of whom did not want to be reached in this way.

The TCPA aimed to give consumers some control over which companies were permitted to contact them. Cell phones were a particular concern, since cell phone owners must pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls. This forces them to pay for advertisers’ telemarketing efforts.

As it stands, the Federal Communication Commission’s rules for the TCPA prohibit businesses from making non-emergency calls to consumer cell phones, using an automatic dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, unless they have the consumers’ prior express written consent to receive such calls. The term “calls” in this context includes ordinary voice calls, voicemails, and text messages.

In this case, on or around January 17, 2020, PETA sent two telemarketing text messages to the cell phone of the plaintiff in this case, Nazrin Massaro.

The first message read, “DYK Beyond Meat is available at all On the Border locations? Yum! Be sure to order it at your local restaurant. <3 Melissa from PETA.” The second message was identical. The complaint alleges that the messages were sent for the benefit of Beyond Meat, and that prior to their transmission, PETA “consulted with Defendant Beyond Meat as to the content of the messages, and always received final approval to transmit the text messages from Defendant Beyond Meat.” There is an interesting twist to this case. The complaint claims, “While Defendant PETA, as a non-profit organization, would typically not be subject to the FCC’s express written consent rule, it is in this case because it was acting as a conduit for Defendant Beyond Meat, a for profit corporation, and because it was engaged in marketing. The complaint alleges that the generic nature of the messages suggests that they were sent using an automatic dialing system. The class for this action is all persons in the US to whose cell phones were sent a text message, between March 18, 2016 and March 18, 2020, using the same type of equipment used to text the plaintiff in this case, promoting Beyond Meat’s goods, from the defendants in this case or anyone acting on their behalf.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Beyond Meat and PETA Text Messages to Cell Phones TCPA Complaint

March 18, 2020

Beyond Meat, Inc. has an interesting business: It makes alternatives to food products that come from animals. It’s not surprising, then, that they have partnered in at least one activity with the nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Unfortunately, that that activity is alleged to be sending consumers unwanted text messages, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). At least, so says the complaint for this class action.

Beyond Meat and PETA Text Messages to Cell Phones TCPA Complaint

Case Event History

Beyond Meat and PETA Text Messages to Cell Phones TCPA Complaint

March 18, 2020

Beyond Meat, Inc. has an interesting business: It makes alternatives to food products that come from animals. It’s not surprising, then, that they have partnered in at least one activity with the nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Unfortunately, that that activity is alleged to be sending consumers unwanted text messages, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). At least, so says the complaint for this class action.

Beyond Meat and PETA Text Messages to Cell Phones TCPA Complaint
Tags: TCPA, Unsolicited Text Messages