Chicago-based Phusion beverage company has agreed to stop making its Four Loko alcoholic energy drinks under pressure from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Madigan, the daughter of Illinois Democrat strongman and House Speaker Michael Madigan, threatened the company, claiming it was violating consumer protection and trade practices by marketing the alcoholic drinks to minors.
Phusion, the Attorney General said, was, “promoting the drink to underage youth,” and thereby “promoting dangerous and excessive consumption” of alcohol. Madigan also accused Phusion of “failing to disclose to consumers the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine.”
In a statement, the Attorney General celebrated the agreement.
“Phusion used marketing and sales tactics that glorified alcohol use and promoted binge drinking,” Madigan said. “This agreement is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to reduce access to dangerous caffeinated alcoholic beverages, especially to underage drinkers.”
To avoid more costly litigation, the company also agreed to a litany of “rules” it would follow with future marketing for any other products.
The company also agreed to “police” its social media accounts for posts promoting the idea of mixing its malt beverages with caffeine.
The agreement that Phusion agreed to was also signed by the attorneys general in 19 states.
Despite the agreement, however, the nine-year-old company has made no admission of wrongdoing.
“While our company did not violate any laws and we disagree with the allegations of the State Attorneys General, we consider this agreement a practical way to move forward and an opportunity to highlight our continued commitment to ensuring that our products are consumed safely and responsibly only by adults 21 and over,” Sloan said in a statement.
“Phusion continues to believe, however, as do many people throughout the world, that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can be consumed safely and responsibly,” he added.
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