Two States Sue Makers Of 5-Hour Energy With Claims Of Deceptive Advertising

Both Oregon and Washington State filed lawsuits against the makers of 5-Hour Energy, alleging that the company has engaged in deceptive advertising tied to the ingredients in its drink. Other states are expected to follow suit, pun intended and totally appropriate in this case.

Oregon’s attorney general filed a lawsuit in Portland against Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC, claiming that 5-Hour Energy’s claims that consumers get extra energy and focus from a unique blend of ingredients is false, that the jolt just comes from a concentrated dose of caffeine, reports the Associated Press.

It also takes issue with 5-Hour Energy bragging that customers don’t experience a crash after the effects of the drink have worn off, and that it’s safe for adolescents.

Washington’s suit filed in Seattle is similar, and it likely won’t be the last state to do so, says a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice. The state has been leading a 33-state investigation into the product’s claims.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says the drink violates the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act, and is seeking monetary penalties as well as refunds to anyone who bought the decaffeinated version of the product in Oregon.

The lawsuit says that drink has no extra energy or alertness, after Rosenblum’s office has fought to get unredacted information showing exactly how the drink’s formula achieves its purported effects.

“Plainly and simply, in Oregon you cannot promote a product as being effective if you don’t have sufficient evidence to back up your advertising claims,” Rosenblum said.

A spokeswoman for 5-Hour Energy says the drink won’t go down without a fight, calling the lawsuits civil intimidation.

“When companies are being bullied by someone in a position of power, these companies roll over, pay the ransom, and move on,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We’re not doing that.”

States sue 5-Hour Energy over ad claims [Associated Press]

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  1. BikerGeek79 says:

    Love ’em or hate ’em, but I don’t know that they’re necessarily that deceptive.

    They claim their energy burst comes from a mega-dose of B-Vitamins, and that each bottle contains about the same caffeine as a cup of coffee.

    Anecdotally, the energy I feel from caffeine is completely different than the energy I feel from a large B dose. I’ve used 5-hour energy, I’ve taken B pills, and I’ve had the energy shots at my local gym. All of them are essentially 1000% doses of B vitamins and I feel about the same from using any of the three methods.

    It’s not like a rush of energy though, as caffeine is. The best way I can describe it is: If your energy reserves are like a tank, and when they get empty you feel tired, B vitamins make that tank deeper and fill it up for you. I don’t feel rushed or buzzy, but when I become active I can stay active longer, am not as tired, and have an overall better mood than if I’d just had caffeine or nothing at all.

    Conversely, a mega-dose of caffeine, whether via coffee or Monster or whatever, makes me feel impatient, rushed, gives me tunnel-vision, and then later gives me a kind of rotting, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can also feel the exact moment my energy reserves get depleted when running on caffeine, something that doesn’t happen on B vitamins, including 5-hour energy.