“Red Bull Gives you wings….” Not so much, according to the courts. Energy drink company Red Bull GmbH has agreed to pay out more than $13 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleges false advertising. The settlement includes millions of individuals who have purchased Red Bull energy drinks over the last 10 years.
Consumers who purchased one or more Red Bull energy drinks between Jan. 1, 2002 and Oct. 3, 2014 are entitled to a $10 cash refund or $15 worth of Red Bull products (shipping costs will be covered by the company). If you, or someone you know, have purchased a Red Bull energy drink over the last 10 years, please visit the attached link to file your claim: http://energydrinksettlement.com/claim. Proof of purchase is not required. The claim form deadline is March 2, 2015.
NOTE: The site to file a claim seems to have gone down, likely due to high demand. We have reached out to the website’s administrators to see whether it will be back up soon. Try back later when traffic is lower. We’ll update when we get more information.
The site remains down, but you can still file a claim form via the following:
- By mail: Class Action Settlement Administrator at Energy Drink Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35123, Seattle, WA 98124-5123
- By fax: (844) 553-1373
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 16, 2013, a lawsuit was filed by consumers who felt that they were misled by the slogan “Red Bull gives you wings.” The plaintiffs claimed that the company’s advertised benefits, like increased performance, concentration, and reaction speed, constituted false advertising because they were not supported by sufficient scientific evidence.
According to the lawsuit, Red Bull’s deceptive advertising is proliferated through the company’s advertising on television, the Internet, social media and events, athlete endorsers, glossy print brochures, marketing campaigns, and it’s slogan-promoting Red Bull Flugtag series. The class action suit outlines that, “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 lawsuit also articulates that despite the lack of scientific evidence to support their advertising claims, Red Bull denies any wrongdoing: “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.”
Although they deny any wrongdoing in the lawsuit, Red Bull has voluntarily withdrawn and modified the marketing claims challenged by the lawsuit, in accordance with the plaintiff’s motion. As a result, the company has been ordered to provide refunds or compensation to millions of individuals.
Advertising and the Better Business Bureau
One of BBB’s primary functions is to encourage truth and accuracy in advertising, based on guidelines which include the BBB Code of Advertising. In conjunction with this, one of the services we provide is our advertising review program. This service enables BBB staff to bring certain aspects of a firm’s advertising and promotional claims to its attention, along with the applicable section of our Code of Advertising.
BBB’s goal is to educate and promote fairness in our community. We offer businesses the opportunity to preserve self-regulation of the marketplace and to instill public confidence in responsible business by addressing the issues presented in this review concerning an advertisement or promotion.
Moreover, BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to our Code of Advertising (along with multiple other standards) in order to maintain their accreditation status with our organization. We hope this serves to further our efforts to create an ethical marketplace where consumers can find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust without falling victim to false or misleading advertising claims.
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