Red Bull has agreed to pay $US13 million ($A14.76 million) to settle a class action lawsuit over alleged false advertising of its energy drinks.
A statement provided to C&I by Red Bull Australia notes that “Red Bull settled this lawsuit to avoid the unpredictability and exorbitant costs of litigating in the USA. Red Bull’s marketing has always been witty, truthful and accurate. This case does not apply to Australian consumers.”
According to bevnet.com, Benjamin Careathers brought the class action suit in January 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claiming that the Austrian company’s tagline ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ was misleading. Benjamin had been drinking Red Bull since 2002.
The suit claimed that the idea that the energy drink would increase performance and concentration, as advertised on the company’s television, online and marketing campaigns, was ‘deceptive’. “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 said.
Despite settling the lawsuit, Red Bull has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement to Bevnet, the company wrote: “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.”
Red Bull has “voluntarily updated its marketing materials and product labeling” for consumers in the United States and has established a website for people wishing to make a claim.
The court’s final approval hearing will be in May 2015.
As part of the proposed settlement, anyone living in the USA who bought a Red Bull can from January 1, 2002 and has a valid claim will be able to receive either a $US10 ($A11.35) reimbursement or two free Red Bull products with a retail value of approximately $US15 ($A17).