We’ve all seen the 5-Hour Energy drink commercials on television, and it seems the drinks are on store shelves most anywhere you shop. There has been discussion as to how healthy these energy drinks are, and whether they are actually bad for your health.
Now, Washington State has clamped down on the company over deceptive ads and ordered 5-Hour Energy to pay $4.3 million as punishment. The ads, among other things, falsely state that the drink is recommended by doctors and is better than coffee.
Living Essentials, LLC and Innovation Ventures, LLC claim that their decaffeinated formula provides more energy, focus and alertness that will last for hours. However, a judge ruled this week that the companies violated the state Consumer Protection Act with deceptive advertising.
According to the judge’s order, the company spent more time trying to justify the science behind their ads after the fact than they did before marketing the product to consumers. Judge Beth Andrus added, “The Court was struck by the fact that Defendants presented no testimony from a single scientist actually involved in developing the contents of this product.”
According to the judge’s order, there was very little evidence as to what science Living Essentials had ever seen or relied upon before it began selling the energy drinks.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2014 when the Washington State Attorney accused the company of deceptive advertising practices. The ads apparently led customers to believe, wrongly, that the drinks were recommended by doctors, and that the combination of caffeine, B vitamins and nutrients in the product had health benefits.
The company also claimed that the effects of the drink would last longer than 3 or 4 cups of coffee. The judge ruled that the evidence simply was not there.
Do you drink 5-Hour Energy drinks? If so, do they live up to the advertising? You may also want to ask your doctor what he thinks about the effects they can have on your health.
If you need legal advice, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.