Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit today against the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®, the popular energy drink. The AGO alleges they misled consumers with ads claiming that doctors recommend 5-hour ENERGY®, by implying the product is safe for teenagers and claiming that the product causes ‛no sugar crash’ when the companies’ own study showed it triggers a caffeine crash.
“We believe the ‘energy’ provided by 5-hour ENERGY® products is derived solely from caffeine, not from vitamins and amino acids as their ads claim,” said Ferguson. “In addition, we believe the ‘energy blend’ does nothing and the ‘no sugar crash’ statement is misleading. I will not stand by and see Washington consumers subjected to deceptive advertising.”
5-hour ENERGY® is a flavored energy shot sold in 1.93 oz. containers. The companies that produce 5-hour ENERGY® are Living Essentials, LLC and Innovation Ventures, LLC.
Ferguson and approximately 30 other state attorneys general have been investigating the accuracy of 5-hour ENERGY® advertisements and marketing claims.
Overview of the Attorney General’s lawsuit
The AGO lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, claims 5-hour ENERGY®violated the Consumer Protection Act by engaging in the following unfair and deceptive business practices:
While the product labels state that they contain caffeine and an ‘energy blend’ containing amino acids, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and other ingredients, 5-hour ENERGY® does not disclose the amount of each ingredient in the ‘energy blend.’
The AGO reviewed the scientific evidence the companies provided to support their marketing claims during the investigation. The AGO found the companies failed to supply adequate evidence to support their claims. The investigation also revealed that many of 5-hour ENERGY®’s ads and representations were unfair or deceptive.
The lawsuit seeks:
The attorneys general of Oregon and Vermont filed similar lawsuits against 5-hour ENERGY® today. More states will sue in the following weeks.
Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Erwin and Kim Gunning are leads on this case.
A copy of the Complaint can be found, here.