Because Red Bull once advertised that it “gives you wings” when it in fact does no such thing, the energy-drink-maker has now settled two class-action lawsuits and says it will mail a $10 check or send $15-worth of Red Bull to anyone who drank the stuff in the last 12 years. Claim forms can be filled out right here, but here’s what you need to know: The class encompasses anyone who bought a can from January 1, 2002, right up through last Friday, October 3, and no proof of purchase is necessary for consumers to join. The proposed settlement still needs approval from the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, which makes things uncertain, but the legal development could definitely turn out to be a great, if not inadvertent marketing campaign for the company.
The settlement totals more than $13 million, which is still a lot less than the cost of two 60-second Super Bowl spots. Though the class action has a long way and many details to go before it’s over — the final hearing is scheduled for May 1, 2015 — it’s a kind of truth-in-advertising lawsuit that strikes most people as relatively benign: Greek yogurt isn’t made by Greeks in Greece; Templeton Rye isn’t distilled in Templeton, Iowa; and Tito’s Handmade Vodka isn’t technically made by hand. That sort of thing. Moreover, the nature of the lawsuit is likely to distract some people from the more serious claims that have been associated with energy drinks in general in the last few years.
Red Bull says it “settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation” and has now “voluntarily withdrawn” the marketing claim that drinking it gives people wings. The class-action suit site has apparently crashed twice since this morning by the intense rush of consumers looking to score what amounts to a lot of money and a lot of Red Bull, however, so it may turn out that crashing is better than soaring in the long run.