SOURCE: Red Bull

April 30, 2008 09:00 ET

Local Chicago Nightclub Hits a Dry Spell Following Charges of "Passing Off"

Red Bull Wins Judgment Against Wet Nightclub

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Red Bull North America, Inc. ("Red Bull") has won another lawsuit as part of its ongoing effort to protect consumers. The court entered judgment against Wet, a Chicago-based nightclub, for deliberately and willfully "passing off" generic energy drinks as Red Bull® in violation of federal law. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleged that customers who ordered a Red Bull® at Wet routinely received a substitute beverage without being notified of the substitution or given the opportunity to accept or reject the stand-in product.

The judgment includes a permanent injunction against Wet and its employees that prohibits "passing off" other beverages as Red Bull®, as well as a judgment against the owners and operators of Wet in the amount of $679,827.48 which includes $102,837.48 to reimburse Red Bull for its attorneys' fees and costs.

Wet is the fourth establishment in the past year that Red Bull successfully pursued to stop "passing off." Red Bull obtained permanent injunctions against and settled with Houston-based Tavern for $150,000, Fort Lauderdale-based Dicey Riley's for $75,000 and Orlando-based Roxy Night Club for an undisclosed amount.

"We are very proactive in our attempts to discuss passing-off issues and solutions with bars. Our primary goal is to protect our brand and ensure the customer clearly understands what they are receiving when they order a Red Bull. We only use legal action as a last resort, when it is clear a bar or restaurant cannot effectively adhere to the law," says Chad Peffer, vice president of sales, Red Bull North America. "In the end, it's not an effective practice to sue any of our potential customers, but certain owners put us in a situation that is not good for either party... especially considering the time and effort on our part and the financial settlements on theirs."

When consumers pay for a premium beverage, they have a right to expect that it will be given to them. Consumers are encouraged to "demand the can" of Red Bull® with their drink as proof that they are not being deceived. The best way to distinguish Red Bull® from alternative products is the packaging. Red Bull® is sold exclusively in its unique blue and silver can and is never shot out of a beverage dispenser gun.

"Red Bull pioneered the energy drink category and set the bar for premium cocktails," says Matt Linder, president of Three Headed Productions, owner and operator of several Chicago-based establishments, including LePassage, Salud, Cans, Juniors and Evil Olive. "We only serve high-quality products at our bars and give our consumers exactly what they want. So when a customer orders a Red Bull® and Vodka, that's what we give them."

If consumers see passing off taking place, they can visit www.redbullusa.com and select the "contact us" button on the company page, or send an email to consumer.information@us.redbull.com.

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