Consumers expecting a $10 refund from Red Bull could be bitterly disappointed to find out that the cheque they receive may in fact be a fraction of that amount. The plaintiff had taken Red Bull to court for failing to give him wings after he drank the product – the company’s adverts have famously used the slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” for some years.
The 2000 advert that launched the company’s eponymous “gives you wings” slogan
According to the complainant, the Austria-based firm deliberately misled unsuspecting customers to spend millions of pounds on the premium drink in the hope of gaining an edge on their competitors. Describing the lack of wing grown, the law suit says: ‘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 adds: ‘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.’ Describing the lack of wing grown, the law suit says: ‘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.
And fearful of a costly and time-consuming trial, Red Bull was forced to settle the case out of court, pledging to refund $10 to any US customer who bought the drink since 2002 and agreeing to amend future advertising. Unfortunately the offer is only open to people in the US
The company’ pledge to refund $10 – or $15 worth of Red Bull products – to each drinker since 2002 has sparked an overwhelming reaction around the world, temporarily crashing the energydrinksettlement.com website. It has since been confirmed that the amount refunded to individuals could be much lower than originally estimated, as more and more consumers apply for compensation from a finite pool of settlement money.
The company said in a statement: ‘Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation.