Consumer Product Companies Under Investigation for Charging "Pink Tax"
Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe launched an investigation into whether certain manufacturers and retailers breached consumer protection laws by imposing a “pink tax” on functionally identical “women’s versions” of consumer products.
The pink tax refers to a premium pricing tactic that imposes a higher price for gender-based products, as a result of which female consumers may end up paying more for certain goods or services. Among these goods are pain relievers, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter pain reliever drugs that are widely sold across the country. Walmart, for example, sells Advil’s regular 200 mg ibuprofen tablets at a price of $13.94 for a 160-ct box, or $0.09 per tablet. Walmart also sells Advil’s menstrual pain 200 mg ibuprofen tablets, which contain active and inactive ingredients identical to those in the regular pain tablets, at a price of $5.94 for a 40-ct box. This translates to $0.15 per tablet, reflecting a 67% premium of $0.06 per tablet.
Consumer advocacy organizations, regulatory agencies, and the media have expressed concerns about discriminatory gender-based pricing schemes like the pink tax. In 2015, the New York Department of Consumer Affairs found that on average, women’s products cost 7% more than similar products for men. This figure rises to 13% for personal care products.
We are investigating whether certain manufacturers and retailers have engaged in unlawful, gender-based pricing tactics in the sale of consumer products. If you have purchased and been charged more for functionally identical consumer products based on gender, you may be entitled to damages and an injunction forcing the company to halt the practice.
If you have purchased a “pink tax” products and would like to help us investigate this issue—or would like to participate in a potential class-action lawsuit—please complete the form below for a free legal consultation.