Phusion Projects LLC, which is based in Chicago,
agreed not to sell caffeinated alcoholic drinks, agreed not to
promote binge drinking or other misuses of alcohol, and accepted
marketing limits designed to keep people under 21 from buying
Among these limits are a ban on promoting flavored malt beverages on
school or college property except at licensed retailers, and not
using models or actors under age 25 or who appear to be under age 21
in its advertising.
Phusion also agreed to pay $400,000 to the regulators as part of the
The danger of mixing caffeine and alcohol was spotlighted in 2010
when some college students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning
after drinking alcoholic energy drinks.
Phusion that year removed the caffeine and other stimulants from
beverages, including Four Loko, after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration warned the company and rivals that "blackout in a
can" drinks combining alcohol and caffeine were unsafe.
"Alcoholic energy drinks are dangerous — especially for the
teenagers and young adults they target," New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "Today's agreement ensures
that one company will no longer market a dangerous product to
[to top of second column]
In the settlement, Phusion denied the
regulators' allegations and that it violated any laws, including
state laws governing consumer protection and trade practices.
"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," President Jim 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."
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York;
editing by Stephen
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.