Vodka And Fake Red Bull

Coke may be the real thing, but Red Bull is making its own authenticity case in courtrooms across the land.
From Iowa City Press-Citizen:

The distributor of the energy drink Red Bull has filed a lawsuit against an Iowa City bar for mixing cocktails with an imitation, but failing to tell customers who specifically ordered drinks with the popular beverage.
Red Bull North America Inc. filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court, accusing the Sports Column, a popular bar in downtown Iowa City, of trademark infringement.
The beverage company claims Sports Column bartenders lied repeatedly when customers asked whether their drinks were mixed with Red Bull. Instead, the lawsuit claims the customers were served Roaring Lion, an imitation described as a cheaper product designed to tap Red Bull’s market share.
The lawsuit is similar to others filed across the nation as Red Bull seeks to protect its market and label.
“They seem to be trying to make an example out of me,” said Brett Sawyer, the owner of the Sports Column.

Roaring Lion’s tagline is “FLY TWICE AS HiiiGH.” A spirits brand could never make a claim like that due to legal restrictions. But that aside, the thing I find interesting here is the retailer, at least in the case above, has no use for such product claims, because the beverage is being passed off as Red Bull.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.