SOURCE: Red Bull

March 14, 2008 08:00 ET

Local Houston Bar Forbidden From Deceiving Customers

The Tavern on Gray Settles With Red Bull for Charges of "Passing Off"

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2008) - Red Bull North America, Inc. has filed a lawsuit claiming Houston-based 1340 Tavern on Gray ("Tavern") has been "passing off" generic energy drinks as Red Bull. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Texas, alleged that customers who visited Tavern and requested a Red Bull routinely received a substitute beverage without being notified of the substitution and were never given the opportunity to accept or reject the stand-in product.

The terms of the settlement include a permanent injunction precluding Tavern and its employees from "passing off" other energy drinks as Red Bull, as well as a judgment against Tavern in the amount of $150,000.

"We've worked hard to build a brand that allows bar and restaurant owners to sell Red Bull at a premium price," says Chad Peffer, vice president of sales, Red Bull North America. "We value our relationships with these establishments. To me it is simple, give the customer what they've ordered and charge accordingly. To do otherwise is deceiving their customers and our consumers."

Red Bull has multiple objectives in pursuing these lawsuits, including: 1) protecting the integrity of the Red Bull brand trademark at retail and in the minds of consumers; 2) protecting the consumer in the marketplace; and 3) educating establishment owners and staff that passing off is illegal and Red Bull will pursue aggressive legal action.

When consumers pay for a premium beverage, they have a right to expect that it 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. It is never shot out of a beverage dispenser gun.

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