Red Bull Doesn’t Actually Give You Wings. Oh, Canada!
For over 20 years, the popular energy drink used “Red Bull gives you wings” as its catchy slogan, but in 2014, Red Bull agreed to pay out more than thirteen million dollars after settling a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of false advertising. Consumers believed (claimed) that the popular energy drink would actually give them wings, as advertised.
One energy drink consumer argued that after ten years of drinking Red Bull, he neither had wings nor any enhanced athletic or intellectual performance.
According to the suit, “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.”
Shortly thereafter, Canadian consumers followed suit. Plaintiff Michael Atter claimed that Red Bull made false declarations regarding the product’s usefulness. Attar argued that the beverage company violated the Quebec Consumer Protection Act by claiming that Red Bull was more effective than a lower-priced offering, like a cup of coffee.
Red Bull again paid out a large settlement to unhappy Canadian consumers. According to Dished Vancouver, Red Bull GmbH paid around $640,000 in a class action settlement. Canadian consumers who bought Red Bull in the last twelve years may receive ten dollars from the settlement.
There is, of course, important law behind this, protecting consumers from false advertising. Unfortunately, silly cases like this can clog up the court system, and make light of the need to police against unlawful business practices.