Competition and Consumer Protection: Red Bull may not give you wings after all

Coffee cup  

Red Bull is alleviating the effects of false advertising by agreeing to pay over $15 million.

Red Bull’s marketing tactics and advertising campaigns falsely claim to give consumers superpowers.

Competition and Consumer Protection laws are in place to ensure products on the market are being sold fairly and that consumers are not being misled.

In this case, the accuser believes that Red Bull’s slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” was misleading because they were not able to fly after a few sips.

The accuser who has been regularly consuming Red Bull energy drinks since 2002 has realised that the enhanced performance which the energy drink claims to give consumers is non-existent and hasn’t helped him become a better athlete in any shape or form. In fact their consistent marketing campaigns throughout print, TV and internet channels misrepresent the energy drink that has no greater benefits than drinking a cup of coffee.

The court agreed that Red Bull’s strong focus on being a superior source of ‘energy’ was inaccurate and unfairly deceiving consumers. The court found Red Bull guilty of deceptive and fraudulent practices.

So what are the consequences of breaching the Competition and Consumer Protection laws?
In the US, if the settlement is approved, all consumers who bought at least one can of Red Bull in the past 10 years will be reimbursed with either $10 or two free Red Bull products – bringing Red Bull down to $6.5 million in just a matter of days.

Does your organisation abide by competition and consumer protection laws when advertising its products and services?
What do you think of this case?