As part of a legal agreement with 20 states, Four Loko — or “blackout in a can,” as it was charmingly known in its glory days — has agreed to seriously curtail marketing to underage and college-age kids. Per the agreement, it’s quite the neutering: no more college promotions, no using models under 25, all of the states’ $400,000 legal fees — even no “depictions or descriptions” of Santa Claus.
Most important is that Phusion Projects, Four Loko’s manufacturer, also agreed never to make another “CAB” — that is, “caffeine-alcohol beverage” — but that was sort of just salt in the wound. Four Loko hasn’t had its 150-milligram caffeine jolt since 2010, when the FDA banned concoctions with this really ignorant mix.
To show Loko’s still got bite, the company did work a middle finger to the Man into its official statement on the changes: “Phusion continues to believe, however, as do many people throughout the world, that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can be consumed safely and responsibly.”
There’s no word on when the energy drink’s zippy new ad campaign, featuring senior citizens chugging cans in regular, non-festive cardigans, will hit retirement homes.