Circulating social media messages – and some news headlines – suggest that Red Bull has been sued because consumers of the drink did not actually grow wings as per the company’s slogan.
Drinks company Red Bull has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused it of false advertising. However, the plaintiff sued because, via the ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ slogan and other promotional material, the company claimed that people who drank the product would enjoy enhanced energy and performance. The lawsuit argues that these claims were false and misleading. The plaintiff did NOT sue because he thought he would physically grow wings.
Social media is all abuzz over news that energy drinks company Red Bull has been sued in relation to its iconic ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ slogan.
Many of the circulating messages suggest that the lawsuit was brought because the person who sued did not actually grow wings after consuming the product. This belief is seemingly backed up by the wording of several mainstream news report headlines on the issue.
A lot of commentators have thus suggested that the plaintiff must have been stupid to believe such a thing in the first place and that the lawsuit was frivolous. Some have suggested that the story might be a hoax.
But, in fact, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Red Bull in January 2013 in relation to its advertisements. However, the suit was not brought because the plaintiff believed he would physically grow wings after drinking the product.
Benjamin Carethers, the plaintiff who took the class action, argued via the suit that the ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ slogan and other company promotional material misled consumers into believing that the drink increases performance, energy levels and concentration.
Caruthers argued that there was no genuine scientific support for a claim that Red Bull provided any more ‘energy’ than a regular cup of coffee. Therefore, he argues, the company’s slogan and advertising are deceptive. Red Bull has agreed to pay over $13 million to settle the case, although it has not admitted any wrongdoing.
In an email statement to BevNet, it noted:
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.
Unfortunately, the wrongful idea that Red Bull was sued because people did not actually grow wings is turning the case into something of an Internet joke. And some sectors of the mainstream media have certainly not helped by the propensity to never let a great headline go by, even if it is apt to mislead.
The suit raises issues that should be sensibly addressed.