Red Bull have agreed to pay out over $13 million to settle a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the company of falsely advertising with the slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings,” according to drinks industry magazine BevNet.
It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Of course the drink doesn’t make you sprout actual wings! But the man who brought the suit, Benjamin Careathers, was apparently entirely serious.
His suit, which was settled in August this year, reads: “Even though there is a lack of genuine scientific support that Red Bull 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.
“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.”
We’re not sure quite what brought on Careathers charges, but we reckon he might have been chancing his luck. Maybe he threw a tantrum when he realised he still couldn’t pull a backflip no matter how many cans of the stuff he crushed?
Of course it doesn’t give you actual wings! but the man who brought the suit was entirely serious…
The settlement apparently means that any future cases on similar grounds will be unlikely to succeed. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining why the company paid to settle.
It must be said that it’s surprising Red Bull didn’t decide to take the case further though – surely such a ridiculous claim wouldn’t stand up in court?
As if to emphasise the point, the energy drink giant issued a statement emphatically denying that the payout equated to any admission of truth in Careathers’ claims.
The company said: “Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation. However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labelling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”
It does make you think about just how well Red Bull would sell if it actually did give you wings though… Imagine the edits!