WASHINGTON--A consumer advocacy group has filed an objection to a proposed settlement that would resolve a number of putative class-action lawsuits filed against Coca-Cola over its marketing of Vitaminwater.
Although lawyers would pocket $1.2 million in the settlement, the agreement “only forbids Coca-Cola from making statements in connection with Vitaminwater that it had already stopped making," according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which first sued Coca-Cola in 2009 over claims that touted Vitaminwater as a healthier alternative to soda.
CSPI claims sugary drinks such as Vitaminwater promote diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other health problems.
“The agreement does not prevent Vitaminwater from continuing to use terms like ‘focus,’ ‘revive,’ and ‘energy’ on labels, nor does it prevent the company from naming various fruits on the label, such as kiwi, strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate, or acai, even though the drinks have no more than one percent of any kind of juice," CSPI said in a press release.
Coca-Cola had no comment on CSPI’s objection to the settlement, but the company said it was pleased to amicably resolve the cases.
“Although we remain confident in our legal position, it simply made no sense to continue a costly legal battle over vitaminwater marketing slogans and tag-lines that have not been used in many years," a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said.
The proposed settlement was filed in a federal court in Ohio.