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Aug 05 2010

Vitamin Water case – Were Coke’s Lawyer’s Clueless?

Just wanted to add an update on this issue. In the judge’s decision, it states that Coca-Cola did not contest the facts about VitaminWater but instead argued that no reasonable consumer could be mislead into thinking that VW was healthy because  -and here is the kicker-  they claim that Coke never promoted it as a healthy drink.  Are you kidding me? This was the best argument Coke’s 1,200 per hour lawyers could come up with?

It must have taken the plaintiff’s and Judge Gleeson all of five minutes to dismiss that ludicrous argument. Coke spends millions -tens of millions- on VitaminWater advertising. Much of it is endorsement by athletes including Lebron James, David Wright and Kobe Bryant. If they weren’t trying to promote this as healthy why use athletes?  Why use the word “healthy ” on practically every label?  Why use the name VitaminWater for that matter? Why not call it “33 Grams of Sugar in Every 12 0z Bottle Water? That would not be misleading. (Sadly by the way that’s still less sugar than a12 oz can of Coke).

I do not understand how any rational lawyer could have thought that the argument would succeed. Also, when you try to pass off an argument that doesn’t pass the laugh test then all of your other arguments are impaired because you lose you credibility.  Once a lawyer loses his credibility with the fact-finder (judge or jury) that lawyer has lost his case.

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