If you’ve ever consumed a Red Bull energy drink and it failed to give you “wings,” you might be able to get some cash back.
A group of consumers of the product won a class-action lawsuit against the company, arguing that claims that Red Bull increases concentration and reaction speeds — and the slogan “Red Bull Gives You Wings” — were false advertising, resulting in a $13 million settlement.
If any consumer has purchased a Red Bull since 2002, you can file a claim to receive two options, a $10 voucher or $15 in Red Bull products. By going to energydrinksettlement.com, users can type in their claim form and receive their portion, no receipt or proof of purchase necessary.
“Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation,” the company said in a statement. “However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labeling have always been truthful and accurate and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”
While it’s biologically impossible for humans to “grow wings,” advertising and marketing have different rules when trying to sell a product. If a notion is asserted, it must be fulfilled, said Dr. William Rice, a Fresno State marketing professor.
“If it sounds false to the ‘common man,’ like ‘grows wings,’ no one would really think that or accept it,” Rice said. “But if the average ‘stupid person’ who doesn’t think about things and assumes everything at face value, then avoid making these people going crazy with some off-the-wall message.
“Don’t say it if 10 percent or more of the people might believe it is true, and you cannot produce such results or prove it is possible.”
Rice said if a company is presented with a claim of false advertising, there is a simple solution:
“Get a good lawyer that understands ‘common man’ perspective and do your research to show that the lawsuit is bogus,” he said.