Red Bull’s false ad settlement means that while the top-selling energy beverage company cannot “give you wings” as the tagline states, they can give you some free drinks. And that’s no bull.
The basis of the lawsuit was that the Austrian company lacked the one crucial component that any sports drink giant claims – the ability to actually give you an energy boost. Therefore, the infamous company, after being found bereft of substantive energy-inducing ingredients and determined to be no more functional than a weak cup of coffee, is rewarding its consumers with, um, more Red Bull.
Writes the Consumerist on Oct. 6: “Because you can’t believe every cartoon that says drinking a can of energy drink will cause you to suddenly sprout wings and float into the sky, Red Bull has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle a lawsuit that was seeking class-action status to settle claims of false advertising.”
Yes, and while we know that Pantene doesn’t “outshine the sun,” that Airborne doesn’t ward off any common cold or flu, and Extenze, well, doesn’t actually extend anything, we did think that Red Bull, in all its marketing genius and backed by sports sponsors up the yahoo, gave us that extra boost.
Not so, says the lawsuit. An 8 oz. can of Red Bull only contains about half the caffeine content of a 7 oz. cup of Joe. And the other ingredients in Red Bull? Taurine and some B vitamins? Nothing there to give you any sustained energy, other than a brief sugar high from Bull’s 27 grams of sugar. And we’re happy to report that Red Bull does NOT contain bull semen, in case you were wondering, as some evidently have.
“Such deceptive conduct and practices mean that [Red Bull’s] advertising and marketing is not just ‘puffery,’ but is instead deceptive and fraudulent and is therefore actionable,” the suit claimed.
“Even though there is a lack of genuine scientific support for a claim that Red Bull branded energy drinks provide any more benefit to a consumer than a cup of coffee, the Red Bull defendants persistently and pervasively market their product as a superior source of ‘energy’ worthy of a premium price over a cup of coffee or other sources of caffeine,” the suit, filed by long-time Red Bull drinkers, pointed out.
So settled they did, though admit nothing is the rule these days. Per Red Bull’s brief statement: “Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation. However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”
Are you a misguided consumer? If so, here you are: Go get your $10.