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Four Loko Case Analysis

New Heights PR Team examines the ethical dilemma of the alcohol and caffeinated drink, Four Loko.
by

Jaleesa Myers

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of Four Loko Case Analysis

However the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Four Drink Brewing Company in regard to the safety hazards of using caffeine in an alcoholic beverage. There concerns were based on the following: What is Four Loko? alcoholic beverage that contains caffeine and is manufactured by Four Brewing Company received its name for the 4 main ingredients found in the beverage: was created by 4 Ohio State University students in 2005 similar products include: Joose, Max and Moonshot Situation Analysis
Nine students from Central Washington University were hospitalized after drinking Four Loko. The students were under the legal drinking age with alcohol-blood levels ranging from 0.12 percent to 0.35 percent. FDA concluded their investigation on Four Loko and other alcoholic/caffeinated drinks and stated, "caffeine added to malt liquor is considered an unsafe food additive." Four major companies--including Four Brewing Company--that sell alcoholic/caffeinated drinks were given 15 days to fix the violation. Ethical Dilemma
Was Four Loko right for marketing their product to a younger demographic? Or, should underage drinkers be held accountable for their actions? Perspectives at a Glance FDA's Approach Four Loko's MAR/ADV Questions? Thank You! Now You Can Clap Four Drink Brewing Company submitted letter to provide evidence that the contents of caffeine in their products supported GRAS (generally recognized as safe). described behavioral effects that may occur in young adults when energy drinks are consumed along with alcoholic beverages
combined ingestion of caffeine and alcohol may lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations because caffeine counteracts some, but not all, of alcohol's adverse effects •
altered perception of alcohol intoxication when the consumption of pre-mixed products contain added caffeine and alcohol FDA’s is concerned that the caffeine content could result in central nervous system effects if a consumer drinks one or more containers of Four Loko because the caffeine is likely to counteract some, but not all, of the adverse effects of alcohol. In 2010, BrandChannel.com analyzed the Four Loko marketing strategy.Their findings concluded, “it’s becoming apparent that the brand has gone to great lengths to cover its tracks on its marketing efforts. Reject social media marketing tactics such as a YouTube channel and an official Facebook page.

However, BrandChannel found: California, New York, and Florida are handling class action suits

One plaintiff stated that nothing in the advertising, labeling, packaging, marketing, promotion and selling of Four Loko gave her any warning of the dangers of drinking the product. Analysis Solutions "Blackout in a Can" -drink for college campuses Four Loko has been accused of marketing towards college students, specifically underage drinkers Their defense Recent News What has been your experience with Four Loko? When did you first hear about it? Did you know about its harmful effects prior to all the publicity surrounding it? Many people find that Four Loko’s original combination of alcohol and caffeine present a danger, however drinks like Red Bull and Vodka carry the same idea. Do you think they are the same? If not, then if you were to consume enough Red Bull and Vodka drinks to equal one Four Loko how would your views on both drinks change? Do you think that Four Loko would have ever been pulled off the market if only a few people were affected? Who do you think is at fault, the FDA or Phusion Projects (maker of Four Loko)? Four Loko should have exercised disclosure.
Four Loko and similar products should be sold in liquor stores only to better manage the amount of underage drinking.
Should hire a team of professionals rather than students to market their products. References CFSAN Constituent Updates. (2010, November 17). Fda issues warning letters to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm234096.htm

Phusion Projects Inc. (2010, November 17). Fda u.s. drug and food administration. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm234023.htm

Sauer, A. (2010, October 28). Four loko declines to own its marketing strategy. Retrieved from http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2010/10/28/Four-Loko-Declines-To-Own-Its-Excellent-Marketing-Strategy.aspx

Wilson, S. (2011, March 10). Four loko lawsuit: phusion projects sued in socal for shady sale tactics, asked to refund every last loko. Retrieved from http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/03/four_loko_lawsuit_refund.php
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