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LaBamba, Potbelly, Citibank sued over "free food"

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Dispatch.com wrote ‘Free food’ called illegal come-on

Thursday, September 20, 2007

By James Nash

Two fast-food restaurants participated in an illegal scheme to get Ohio State University students to sign up for credit cards, Attorney General Marc Dann said in a lawsuit yesterday.

Dann said Potbelly Sandwich Works and La Bamba Mexican Restaurants Group enticed students to sign up for credit cards by offering them free sandwiches and burritos.

The promotions violated the state Consumer Sales Practices Act, Dann said, because fliers advertising the giveaways failed to mention the price of the free lunch: applying for Citibank credit cards.

Citibank was named as a defendant in one of the two cases filed yesterday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in an unusual partnership of Dann and OSU law professors and students. The other case named Campus Dimensions Inc., a Pennsylvania company that handles promotions on college campuses.


See also The Lantern: Lawsuits filed against local restaurants’ ads

What’s especially funny about this is that the companies don’t even need to try that hard to sucker college kids into signing up for credit cards. They’ve thankfully been cracking down on it the past couple years, but during the first few weeks of the quarter, campus used to be filled with tables where you could get a “free” t-shirt or keychain or other useless junk “just” for signing up for some outrageously high APR credit card.

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