Monday, April 13, 2009

PepsiCo Sues Coca-Cola For False Advertising Over Energy Drink Campaign

Another Pepsi v. Coke battle
(Photo Credit: USA George)

Reuters and Dow Jones reported today on the false advertising lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. (owned by Quaker Oats which is controlled by PepsiCo Inc.) – the maker of the Gatorade energy drink – against Coca-Cola Co. and its energy drink division, Energy Brands Inc.

The crux of the suit is Coke's recent ad campaign for its Powerade ION4 sports drink which showed pictures of Pepsi’s Gatorade drink with the phrase "Don't settle for an incomplete sports drink".

Apparently, Coke’s advertising also makes the claim that Gatorade is "missing two electrolytes" – calcium and magnesium – that are found in Powerade. According to the complaint, the trace amounts of calcium and magnesium found in Powerade are so minute that it really has no nutritional benefit.

Pepsi’s causes of action are for false advertising, unfair competition, trademark dilution, deceptive trade practices, and injury to business reputation.

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