Have you seen advertisements for the “miracle drink” capable of curing neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's? Well, those ads cost Bang Energy $336 million.
The suit began in 2018, when Monster Energy sued its ex-rival Bang Energy for false advertising and other misconduct. Monster alleged that Bang misled consumers about the ingredients in, and the benefits of, its product.
A “Miracle Drink”
So apparently Bang’s advertised that it’s products contained containing "Super Creatine,” were a "miracle drink" capable of curing neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and beat it’s competition as the “healthiest energy drink.”
Unfortunately, Bang is not the cure to Alzheimer’s—nor does it even contain “Super Creatine.” And as you would expect, Monster won the suit and a cool $293 million. The court also banned Bang from continuing to advertise with these strange and outlandish claims. However, Monster is unlikely to ever see this $293 million: after the verdict for Monster, Bang promptly declared bankruptcy.
But this bankruptcy did not mark the end of Monster’s bone to pick with Bang—Monster was just getting started. Last year, Monster won $175 million in a trademark infringement claim against Bang. Then, this past month, the court awarded Monster all the fees it asked for in the false advertising case: Monster won $20.9 million in attorneys' fees and $22 million in additional damages. The judge noted the strength of Monster’s case, as well as the "disrespect for the judicial process” exuded by Bang's then-CEO Jack Owoc during the 2022 trial. Thus, Monster’s total damages in the false advertising case amounted to $336 million — one of the largest awards in the history of federal trademark law.
Despite its awareness of Bang’s advertising blunders, Monster still saw potential in the Bang Energy brand. Monster acquired Bang for $362 million in July 2023, and the acquired assets included Bang’s energy drink products and beverage production facility in Phoenix, Arizona. While Bang might not be able to cure diseases, Monster now plans for its products to use caffeine, rather than shocking ads, to make us feel more alert.
Be very, very careful about what and how you advertise your products. Also, if you have a competitor like Monster, be 10x as careful. Check out the complaint: