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Phusion to stop promoting unsafe drinking of ‘alcopops’, AG Cooper says

Release date: 3/25/2014

Manufacturer of Four Loko to change production, marketing practices

Raleigh: The maker of flavored alcoholic beverage Four Loko will no longer promote dangerous drinking habits, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

“These super-sized, fruit flavored alcoholic beverages encourage binge drinking among young people,” Cooper said.  “Just one of these binge-in-a-can drinks can make people quickly and dangerously drunk.”

Cooper, with 19 other attorneys general, reached a settlement with Phusion Projects, LLC resolving allegations that the company marketed and sold beverages that violated consumer protection and trade practices statutes.

As part of the settlement, Phusion will not manufacture caffeinated alcoholic drinks and will change how it markets and promotes its malt beverages.

The states allege that Phusion marketed its caffeinated malt beverage Four Loko to underage drinkers, promoted excessive consumption and misuse of alcohol, and failed to disclose the effects of drinking alcohol combined with caffeine.

Cooper and other state attorneys general previously expressed concern about Four Loko, and in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration sent a letter warning Phusion that caffeinated Four Loko was an unsafe product.

Under the settlement announced today, Phusion will not:

  • Promote binge drinking, drinking while driving or underage drinking;
  • Promote mixing its flavored malt beverages with products containing caffeine;
  • Sell, distribute or promote alcoholic products to people under age 21;
  • Hire underage people, actors or models under the age of 25, or those who look younger than 21 to promote alcohol products;
  • Promote flavored malt beverages on school or college property, other than at licensed retail stores
  • Use names, initials, logos or mascots of any school, college, university, student organization, sorority or fraternity in its promotions
  • Distribute, sell or promote merchandise items with the beverage’s brand name or logo to any person underage

Phusion will also pay the states involved a total of $400,000 as part of the settlement, including $14,047.62 to North Carolina. 

Contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413