Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PepsiCo sues Coca-Cola over Gatorade ad campaign

PepsiCo Inc, taking umbrage over a nationwide advertising campaign accusing its Gatorade energy drink of missing crucial electrolytes, sued Coca-Cola Co on Monday for false advertising and taking scientific liberties.

The purveyors of Gatorade sued Coca-Cola Co and Energy Brands Inc in a trademark lawsuit over a two-week campaign for Coke's Powerade ION4 sports drink, which splashed photos of Gatorade bottles lopped in half beneath bold slogans such as "Don't settle for an incomplete sports drink".

Pepsi's lawsuit asks a judge to put a stop to Coke's "escalating" ad campaign, which claims Powerade "is superior" and that Gatorade is "an incomplete sports drink".

Coke and Pepsi have a decades-old history of slamming each other's brands in global advertising and waging disputes in courts over issues as diverse as anti-trust and disclosure of trade secrets.

Coke's campaign "is a calculated, intentional strategy designed to falsely and viciously attack the readily identifiable market leader, Gatorade, in the hopes of unfairly gaining precious market share," Pepsi unit Stokely-Van Camp said in its complaint.

It accuses Coca-Cola of "false advertising, trademark dilution, deceptive acts and practices, injury to business reputation and unfair competition" under the US trademark law known as the Lanham Act.

In past months, Coke has run afoul of regulators and consumer interest groups over aggressive marketing claims, drawing warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and an Australian watchdog.

A Coca-Cola spokesman initially declined comment, saying the corporation had not yet received or had the opportunity to review the lawsuit.

The two century-old household names have picked numerous fights with each other in years past, including during the turf wars of the 1980s when the hugely successful "Pepsi Challenge" advertising campaign helped prompt Coke to alter its cola formula to invent New Coke, which promptly fizzled. - Reuters


HL said...

Fight between 2 giant soft drinks company !! When it can be over ??

BH said...'ll only over if the other is no more exists.....