Red Bull Settlement: Beverage Doesn’t ‘Give You Wings’ After All

The phrase “Red Bull gives you wings” has resulted in a false advertising Red Bull settlement. The company behind the beverage has agreed to reimburse more than $6 million to consumers who purchased the energy drink while the company used the slogan.

When the advertising slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” was being used, it wasn’t indicating that you would literally grow wings. If it did, the beverage would undoubtedly be a secret government project being developed for experimental military applications, not a publicly accessible energy drink. What the slogan was attempting to imply was that it was a more effective source of caffeine than an average cup of coffee.

The actual meaning behind the slogan was also proven false. A 7-ounce cup of drip coffee, on average, contains approximately 115 to 175 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull contains only 80 milligrams of caffeine.

The fallibility of not only the slogan, but what it really meant has resulted in a lawsuit, the result of which was the Red Bull settlement. Consumers who have purchased the beverage (hopefully you kept your receipts) will be sent either $10 or a $15 Red Bull product with free shipping.

The following is a summary of the Red Bull lawsuit according to BevNet.

“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.

“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.”

Considering how many products marketed toward teenagers have made similar claims or indications, it is unknown whether other popular products could follow the Red Bull settlement. Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit had commercials with a song that claims the gum will “move you.” Several foods and drinks also featured cartoon characters on skateboards.

According to Jezebel, primary Plaintiff Benjamin Careathers may have had a personal problem with the beverage when he decided to take Red Bull’s manufacturer to court. It was obvious to most consumers that the “wings” slogan was meant as a kind of joke. Unfortunately, the deeper meaning behind the slogan was what gave Careathers the edge he needed to make a solid case.

Do you think “Red Bull gives you wings” was just a harmless slogan? Was the Red Bull settlement truly necessary?

[image via The Skyrim Blog]