5-Hour Energy Loses Deceptive Ad Suit!

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5-Hour Energy loses a deceptive advertising lawsuit

The Attorney General’s Office filed the lawsuit in July 2014 against the makers of 5-Hour Energy, a flavored energy shot sold in 1.93 ounce containers. It alleged the company deceived consumers with ads claiming that doctors recommend 5-Hour Energy; that the product is superior to coffee because its “energy blend” interacts in a “synergistic” way with caffeine to make the energy and alertness associated with caffeine last longer; and that Decaf 5-Hour Energy provides consumers with energy, alertness, and focus that lasts for hours.

“The makers of 5-Hour Energy misled consumers in pursuit of profit,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “They broke the law, and they will be held accountable for their deception.”

One ad campaign implied that doctors recommend the product based on survey data. The judge agreed that 5-Hour Energy’s “Ask Your Doctor” campaign inappropriately combined two separate surveys – one done online, and one on paper with different survey methodology. The results of those surveys didn’t support the ads’ impression that 73 percent of doctors in both surveys recommended 5-Hour Energy, the judge ruled.

Ferguson also challenged claims that 5-Hour Energy was superior to coffee because of the “synergistic” interaction of caffeine and the energy drink’s other ingredients. Andrus agreed that the claims weren’t backed by scientific evidence.

Andrus wrote: “None of the studies Living Essentials submitted to the court support the claim that combining specific B vitamins, taurine, choline, glucuronolactone, and tyrosine with caffeine will cause the energy, alertness, and focus effects of caffeine to last longer than if the caffeine were consumed alone.”

Andrus also agreed the defendants’ claims that decaffeinated 5-Hour Energy offered similar effects to the product’s caffeinated version lacked “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

Penalties and other remedies in the case will be announced later.

Read full article and learn more about Deceptive Advertising here.

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