The importance of not winging it

In light of global drinks giant Red Bull’s catastrophic week last week, which saw the company being sued for $13.5 million over false advertising, we thought we’d take a look at what it did wrong – and how to ensure that your company does not follow in its footsteps.

‘Red Bull gives you wings’ has been the distinct slogan at the forefront of the energy drink’s advertising and marketing campaigns for many years now, and it was those five words that landed Red Bull in hot water.

A regular consumer of the drink took legal action against Red Bull stating that even after 10 years of drinking the beverage he had not grown wings, like the slogan states, and has no enhanced athletic or intellectual performances, as many of the advertising campaigns suggest.

The lawsuit was settled out of court, with Red Bull agreeing to pay $13.5 million in fees – $6.5 million of that being set aside to create a fund that will be paid out to an estimate 1.4 million (US) customers who have bought the drink since 2002. Customers can apply on a specially created website ( to receive their $10 in repayments.

Although this lawsuit is only valid in the US, it will be interesting to see how it affects Red Bull’s advertising in the UK. Will we see an end to its wings slogan too?

So that was Red Bull’s disaster, what can you do to ensure that your company does not follow suit? The no 1. rule is make sure your product does what it says on the tin!

Evidence shows that metaphors are no longer acceptable – your branding and labelling must be truthful and accurate, whilst still being imaginative and memorable!

Here at Dragonfly PR we have a strong commercial understanding, combined with creative flair, allowing us to build brands that not only engage with customers, but are unforgettable and unique. We can help you with all aspects of your business, including branding, public relations and marketing, to ensure that your product is the topic of discussion in your target audience – for all of the right reasons.

If you would like to discuss your company’s PR or Marketing needs, contact us on 01709 300130 or email

Call us on: 0114 349 5341