Tuesday, 03 25, 2014
Deputy Communications Director
General Jack Conway announced today
that he and 19 other attorneys general and San Francisco’s city attorney have
reached a settlement with Phusion Projects, LLC and its officers (collectively,
“Phusion”) regarding the flavored malt beverage Four Loko.
settlement resolves allegations that Phusion marketed and sold Four Loko in
violation of consumer protection and trade practice statutes by promoting the
alcoholic beverage to minors, promoting dangerous and excessive consumption of the
beverage, promoting the misuse of alcohol, and failing to disclose to consumers
the effects of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine.
the settlement addresses Phusion’s practice of manufacturing, marketing, and
selling unsafe and adulterated caffeinated alcoholic beverages prior to the
FDA’s November 2010 letter warning the company that caffeinated Four Loko is an
unsafe product. Kentucky will receive
$14, 047.62 as a result of the settlement.
referred to as an ‘alcopop’ and even a ‘blackout in a can,’ the original Four
Loko formulation is a dangerous concoction of alcohol and caffeine,” General
Conway said. “This settlement will keep the caffeinated version of the malt beverage
off of store shelves, and it will ensure that consumers, especially minors, are
no longer prey to the misleading and deceptive marketing techniques that
Phusion has used to sell its products.”
part of the settlement, Phusion agreed to not manufacture caffeinated alcoholic
beverages and reform how it markets and promotes its non-caffeinated flavored
malt beverages, including Four Loko. Additionally,
Phusion shall not:
Promote binge drinking, drinking while
driving, consuming an alcoholic beverage by means of a rapid ingestion
technique or device, or underage drinking.
Promote to consumers, wholesalers,
distributers, or marketers mixing its flavored malt beverages with products
Sell, offer for sale, distribute, or
promote alcoholic products to underage persons.
Hire underage persons or actors under the
age of 25 to promote alcohol products.
Hire models or actors for its promotional
materials that are under the age of 25 or that appear to be under the age of
Promote flavored malt beverages on school
or college property, except at retail establishments licensed to sell alcoholic
Use names, initials, logos, or mascots of
any school, college, university, student organization, sorority, or fraternity
in Phusion’s promotional materials for its alcohol products.
Distribute, sell, provide, or promote
merchandise bearing the brand name or logo of flavored malt beverages to
has also agreed to:
Prevent the posting of, and promptly
remove, from its websites and social media any postings that depict or describe
the consumption of its caffeinated alcohol beverages, the mixing of its
flavored malt beverages with products containing caffeine, or the misuse of
Inform distributors and retailers that
its flavored malt beverages contain alcohol.
Advise retailers to display its flavored
malt beverages separate and apart from non-alcoholic products.
Pay the state attorneys general that are
signatories to the settlement and San Francisco’s city attorney $400,000.
Attorneys General of Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New
York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington participated
in the settlement.
can follow Attorney General Conway on Twitter @kyoag, visit the Attorney
General’s Facebook page
or view videos on our YouTube channel.