The news. Red Bull might give you lots of things, but this time around it's not wings.
For the past two decades, the energy drink's zippy ads promised to give its drinkers wings. Wednesday, that comes to an end. The Austrian company settled a $13 million United States class action lawsuit that accused the drink-maker of making false and misleading advertising claims — and you could make a pretty penny.
The proposed settlement will have to be cleared in the courtroom, but if approved, Red Bull must dish out millions of dollars to people who drank the stuff between 2002 and 2014 in the form of a $10 check or, ironically, two free Red Bull products worth about $15. But with no proof of purchase necessary, Red Bull is essentially giving out money.
The lawsuit is kind of ridiculous. The plaintiffs, who are avid Red Bull consumers, actually believed its marketing claims that the drink improved performance, concentration and athletic performance. "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," a plaintiff said.
In the plaintiffs' defense, however, they didn't believe physical wings would pop out of them. They were just angry with Red Bull's over-reliance on the words "wings" and "boost" that gives
off the impression of "some sort of physical lift or enhancement," notes Business Insider. One plaintiff said he didn't notice his athletic performance improve, despite drinking it for more than a decade.
Red Bull defended itself and agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid further litigation. The company added that it "maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability."