Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc. Case Brief Example

The following case brief for Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc. provides a concise and structured summary of the court case that serves as a valuable reference tool for law students and legal professionals. It allows them to review and analyze legal principles, identify key issues and holdings, and gain insight into the court’s reasoning.

By presenting cases in a structured manner, case briefs facilitate effective studying, research, and the application of legal principles to new legal scenarios. Whether used for exam preparation, legal research, or enhancing understanding of judicial decisions, case briefs are invaluable resources that contribute to a deeper comprehension of the law.

Case: Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc.


In 1995, John Leonard participated in a promotional campaign by PepsiCo, Inc. The campaign featured a television advertisement in which participants had a chance to win various prizes, including a “Harrier Jet,” a high-performance military aircraft.

The advertisement stated that the Harrier Jet could be obtained for 7 million “Pepsi Points.” Leonard, intrigued by the possibility, submitted a request for the Harrier Jet using 15 Pepsi Points and a check for $700,008.50 to purchase additional Pepsi Points. PepsiCo rejected Leonard’s claim, stating that the Harrier Jet was a humorous and unrealistic prize.


The main issue in the case was whether the advertisement constituted a legally binding offer and if John Leonard’s submission of 15 Pepsi Points and a check for $700,008.50 entitled him to receive the Harrier Jet as advertised.

Rule of Law:

  • Offer and acceptance: For a contract to be formed, there must be a clear offer by one party and acceptance of that offer by another party, creating mutual assent.
  • Objective intent: The court must determine whether a reasonable person would interpret the communication or advertisement as an offer or mere puffery (a statement that is exaggerated and not intended to be taken seriously).

Holding and Reasoning:

The court held that the advertisement did not constitute a legally binding offer, and therefore, John Leonard was not entitled to receive the Harrier Jet. The court reasoned that a reasonable person would understand that the offer of the Harrier Jet for 7 million Pepsi Points was a humorous and exaggerated statement, not a genuine offer of an actual military aircraft. The court emphasized that the advertisement was clearly meant to be fanciful and did not contain the necessary elements to form a valid contract.

The court further noted that the terms and conditions accompanying the promotional campaign made it clear that the prizes were limited to those listed in the catalog and that the Harrier Jet was not included. The court determined that these terms and conditions effectively disclaimed any intent to make a binding offer regarding the Harrier Jet.

The court also considered the commercial context of the advertisement and concluded that it was evident that the Harrier Jet was a fantastical prize and not something that could be reasonably expected to be available in exchange for Pepsi Points. Allowing Leonard’s claim would have the potential to undermine the integrity of similar promotional campaigns and subject companies to impractical and unintended liabilities.

Concurrence and Dissent:

In the actual case of Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc. (1999), there were no specific concurrences or dissents provided. The court’s decision was unanimous in holding that the advertisement did not constitute a legally binding offer.

Note: The above case brief is based on the actual case of Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc. (1999), in which the court reached the holding described. However, the brief is a condensed representation and may not include all the nuances and details of the original case.

Milo Lawson

Milo Lawson is a passionate legal professional and a valued contributor to Case Brief Examples. With a deep understanding of the law and a keen eye for detail, Milo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our platform.

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