Monday, June 15, 2009, 6/15/2009 09:42:00 AM

Men's Health Publisher Seeks to Protect its Trade Secrets in Florida Investigation

By Todd

In an ongoing investigation into the sales and marketing practices of publisher Rodale, the Florida attorney general's office decided to make public the information it gathered. Rodale, publisher of Men's Health and other magazines, recently filed a petition with a Florida circuit court to keep the information private.

The petition seeks to prohibit the attorney general's office from "releasing Rodale's protected trade secret documents and proprietary confidential business information," including customers' names, which the publisher was subpoenaed to produce. A decision on the petition is pending.

Since February 2008, the state AG has been investigating "several negative marketing methods allegedly employed by Rodale, including automatic shipments and automatic subscription renewals, and whether the marketing materials for these methods adequately disclose terms and conditions." The AG's office says it also is looking into whether Rodale "sends consumers merchandise that has not been ordered." Paul McGinley, Rodale's lawyer, counters the publisher "has had marketing materials reviewed by outside counsel consistently for several years."


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