Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [] 1 QB advertisement offer not invitation to treat. Sample case summary of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [] 2 QB Prepared by Claire Macken. Facts: • Carbolic Smoke Ball Co (def) promises in ad to. The Chimbuto Smoke Ball Company made a product called the “smoke ball” which claimed to be a cure for influenza and a number of other diseases.

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Bowen LJ ‘s opinion was more tightly structured in style and is frequently cited.

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [] | Case Summary | Webstroke Law

Carlill because she went to the “inconvenience” of using it, and the company got the benefit of extra sales. We must apply to that argument the usual legal tests.

Misleading practices are unfair r 3 and unfair practices are prohibited r 4. If I may paraphrase it, it means this: I am of the same opinion.

Did the plaintiff perform some action in exchange for the promise?

Many people conclude after reading the case that the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company would have been brought down by bal of claims. Barry v Davies []. It seems to me that this advertisement reads as follows: For instance, Professor Hugh Collins writes the following.

It is not necessary to say which is the correct construction of this contract, for no question arises thereon. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. Retrieved from ” https: Fifth, good b was clearly given by Mrs. One cannot doubt that, as an ordinary rule of law, an acceptance of an offer made ought to be notified to the person who makes the offer, in order that the two minds may come together.


Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

Third, he said that although an offer was made to the whole world, the contract was not with the whole world. It is quite possible to make an offer to the world.

In my judgment, the advertisement was an offer intended to be acted upon, and when accepted and the conditions performed constituted a balk promise acse which an action would lie, assuming there was consideration for that promise. But that, of course, was soon overruled.

Networked Knowledge – Contract Law Casenotes

Was there a promise? The case concerned a flu remedy called the “carbolic carbo,ic ball”. Let us see whether there is no advantage to the defendants. In the first place, it is said that it is not made with anybody in particular. They are offers to anybody who performs the conditions named in the advertisement, and anybody who does perform the condition accepts the offer.

Louisa Carlill, however, lived until she was If this is an offer to be bound, then it is a contract the moment the person fulfils the condition. That, I suppose, has taken place in every case in which actions on advertisements have been maintained, from the time of Williams v Carwardine[4] and before that, down to the present day.

It seems to me that in order to arrive at a right conclusion we must read this advertisement in its plain meaning, as the public would understand it. There is ample consideration to support this promise. Nor had they exchanged goods, money or services between themselves.

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co – Wikipedia

During the last epidemic of influenza many thousand carbolic smoke balls were sold as preventives against this disease, and in no ascertained case was the disease contracted by those using the carbolic smoke ball. But there is no obligation on the promisee to continue to inhale, to walk the whole way to York or to refrain from suing. I understand that if there is no consideration for a promise, it may be a promise in honour, or, as we should call it, a promise without consideration and nudum pactum ; but if anything else is meant, I do not understand it.


It comes to this: I so entirely agree with him that I pass over this contention also as not worth serious attention. Then it was said that there was no notification of the acceptance of the contract. That seems to me the way in which an ordinary person would understand an advertisement about medicine, and about a specific against influenza.

They ignored two letters from her husband, a solicitor. I do not think that business people or reasonable people would understand the words as meaning that if you took a smoke ball and used it three times daily for two weeks you were to be guaranteed against influenza for the rest of your life, and I think it would be pushing the language of the advertisement too far to construe it as meaning that. It is notable for its curious subject matter and how the influential judges particularly Lindley LJ and Bowen LJ developed the law in inventive ways.