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SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

Nose the Difference

July 21, 1985|NANCY YOSHIHARA

Giorgio Inc., the glitzy Beverly Hills-based maker of the perfume of the same name, has won a round in court to temporarily prevent Fantasy Perfumes of Boca Raton and three other Florida companies from using what Giorgio claims is false advertising about Fantasy's version of the well-known--and expensive--Giorgio scent.

U.S. District Judge David Kenyon in Los Angeles granted Giorgio a temporary restraining order to halt the airing of a 60-second television commercial that had been broadcast nationwide, including in the Los Angeles market.

Fantasy's ads claiming that a user would not be able to tell the difference between the Fantasy product and Giorgio perfume created "the possibility of irreparable harm" to Giorgio, the company said.

Giorgio Perfume retails for $150 an ounce, while the Fantasy version, which is sold only through mail order, is $19.95 for a half-ounce.

In his decision, Judge Kenyon said Giorgio had submitted substantial evidence indicating that Fantasy's perfume "is an inferior product" to Giorgio perfume. The three other companies named in the suit were Boca Bleu Star Inc., Joseph Anthony Advertising Inc. and Seta Productions Inc.

Don Seta, president of Boca Blue, maker of Fantasy Perfume, said that before the commercial was aired, "we consulted a local attorney here (in Florida) and we thought we were within the law based on (past) cases" regarding advertising "versions" of other products. He said the commercial says six different times in the 60-second spot that Fantasy is a "version" of Giorgio.

Daphne Sheridan, general counsel for Giorgio, said the company's request for a permanent injunction against the advertising will be heard Monday.

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