Question: Nike Inc mounted a public relations campaign in order to
Nike, Inc., mounted a public relations campaign in order to refute news media allegations that its labor practices overseas were unfair and unlawful. The campaign involved the use of press releases, letters to newspapers, a letter to university presidents and athletic directors, and full-page advertisements in leading newspapers. Relying on California statutes designed to curb false and misleading advertising and other forms of unfair competition, California resident Mark Kasky filed suit in a California court on behalf of the general public of the state. Kasky contended that Nike had made false statements in its campaign and that the court should therefore grant the legal relief contemplated by the California statutes. In terms of Nike's potential liability, why would it make a difference whether the speech in which Nike engaged was commercial or, instead, noncommercial? What are the arguments in favor of a conclusion that Nike was engaged in commercial speech? What are the arguments in favor of a conclusion that Nike was engaged in noncommercial speech? How did the court rule on the speech classification issue-i.e., whether Nike's speech was commercial or, instead, that is noncommercial?
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