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Red Bull flies too close to the sun with false 'Gives You Wings' ad claim


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

October 8, 2014 | 2 min read

Red Bull has received a slap on the wrists for its ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ marketing slogan, settling in court for a figure of more than $13m, according to BevNet magazine.

A Red Bull ad from 2000

The tagline, which has been used in the company’s TV, social and print ad slots since it was first released almost two decades ago, was deemed misleading by the New York Federal Court.

The lawsuit accused the firm of promoting Red Bull as more than a caffeinated drink with its claims that it will boost consumers deprived of sleep.

The settlement will enter a fund for those who have purchased at least one can of Red Bull over the last decade, disappointed by its energy-granting results. Those affected can alternatively claim two free Red Bull products as recompense.

The lawsuit said: "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."

It added that although plaintiffs did not actually expect ‘wings’ from the drink, the marketing materials did allegedly promise them a mental or physical enhancement.

The drinks company released a statement: “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.”

Earlier this week energy drink rival Rocket Fuel mocked Red Bull with a new ad stating “Why have wings when you can have rockets?”

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