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January 18, 2013

2 Min Read
Lawsuit: Red Bull Doesn't Give You Wings

NEW YORKA consumer has initiated a class action lawsuit against energy drink company Red Bull, alleging the company's advertisements, sales and marketing practices deceptively promise better physiological and mental improvements than one could get from a cup of coffee. Disagreeing "Red Bull gives you wings," the lawsuit further states Red Bull claims scientific research supports the product's claims, but their is no evidence of such scientific substantiation.

The suit specifically names Red Bull North America Inc.. Red Bull GMBH and Red Bull Distribution Company as defendants. The class is defined as anyone who purchased Red Bull within the statutory period, with a New York subclass for those same consumers who live in the state. It calls for injunctive relief, restitution for money consumers spent on Red Bull, compensation for various economic and non-economic damages, and attorney fees.

"The Red Bull Defendants know or should know that there is no greater benefit to ingesting Red Bull energy drinks than ingesting an equivalent dose of caffeine and have taken no meaningful steps to clear up consumer misconceptions regarding its Red Bull branded energy drinks," the suit argues.

According to the class action filing, Red Bull spends millions of dollars deceiving consumers out of their millions of dollars by claiming a unique formulation of ingredients "vitalizes body and mind." The complaint notes Red Bull makes several claims about its functional beverage, including: increases performance; increases concentration and reaction speed; improves vigilance, stimulates metabolism; and makes you feel more energetic and thus improves your overall well-being.

On the subject of Red Bull's supposed scientific evidence for such claims, the lawsuit cites the "well-regarded scientific journal" Nutrition Review's recently published evaluation of energy drink studies and efficacy:

"With the exception of some weak evidence for glucose and guarana extract, there is an overwhelming lack of evidence to substantiate claims that components of [energy drinks], other than caffeine, contribute to the enhancement of physical or cognitive performance."

The suit further cites several other criticisms of claims evidence for Red Bull and other energy drinks, including from the New York Times and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It negated any studies put forth by Red Bull as having insufficient designcomparisons that did not show Red Bull provided any more benefit that would a cup of coffeeand noted journals such as Nutrition Review have published similar criticism of the improper design and lack of appropriate dependent measures. Based on this criticism of Red Bull studies, the complaint argues the advertising and marketing are not just puffery but deceptive and fraudulent.

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