Publishers Clearing House agreed to settle lawsuits filed by 24 state attorneys general by paying $18.5 million to the states for use either in restitution to consumers who spent more than $2,500 on magazines in any of the last three years or for consumer education campaigns. The company also agreed to limit some of its claims in advertising and direct mail. The settlement is similar to one Washington state negotiated earlier with American Family Publishers. Publishers Clearing House said it awarded prizes just as it had promised in its solicitations and believed its mailings "had always been clear to our many customers,'' but was settling to avoid the costs of prolonged litigation.
Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.