Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Makers of 5-hour Energy products

Published: Jan. 8, 2016 at 1:00 PM MST
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Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has reached a settlement with the companies that manufacture and market 5-hour Energy products.

The settlement, approved by District Judge Richard Greenwood this week, resolves a lawsuit filed by Wasden alleging Living Essentials, LLC, and Innovation Ventures, LLC, misrepresented their energy shot products, including whether consumers experience a “crash” after consumption and claims the products are recommended by doctors. Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures deny any violations of Idaho law.

Under terms of the agreement, the companies will not represent that 5-hour Energy products have sponsorships, benefits or ingredients they don’t have.

“Ensuring companies make accurate statements about their products is important to consumers and the marketplace,” Attorney General Wasden said. “I’m pleased that we were able to reach a resolution of this case.”

Wasden filed a lawsuit in 4th District Court in May asserting violations of Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Protection Rules. Specifically, Wasden alleged the companies engaged in false, deceptive or misleading practices in advertising and promoting their products.

According to the settlement, the companies, for products to be sold in Idaho, will:

• Ensure that any new marketing materials for 5-hour Energy products that use the word “crash” shall use the words “no sugar crash” instead;

• Provide on labels warnings for women who are pregnant or nursing, and that their products are not recommended for children;

• In any advertising campaign, only use survey data if it was created, conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified people who used methods generally accepted in the profession to produce accurate and reliable results;

• Continue to list the amount of caffeine in products and disclose that amount as a separately listed ingredient; and

• Not use testimonials or endorsements that do not comply with Federal Trade Commission rules.

The settlement also addresses how the companies market their products to minors, Wasden said.

For the next 3.5 years, the companies will not use or hire persons under the age of 18 to promote products or appear in ads. The agreement prohibits the use of the name, logo or mascot of any elementary, middle or high school in promotional materials related to products.

The settlement also bars the companies from promoting products at school events and using child oriented animated characters to market energy products.

The companies will pay $9,000 to the Attorney General for fees and costs of the investigation and litigation.