In sports speak, the score is Monster 2, Bang 0.
That’s the tally following Monster Beverage Corp.’s second legal victory over Bang beverages parent Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. in separate proceedings dating to 2018.
Last Thursday, a jury in California awarded Monster Beverage $293 million in a lawsuit in which Monster accused Vital Pharmaceuticals—which does business as VPX Sports—of false advertising, unfair competition and other behavior regarding Bang’s ingredients and health effects.
That followed a ruling in July by a federal court in California upholding an arbitrator’s $175 million award to Monster Beverage in a trademark-infringement case against VPX.
Monster Beverage filed its false-advertising claims in September of 2018, alleging that VPX was selling a “modern-day snake oil.”
The case centered on VPX’s claims regarding the amino acid creatine, which helps the body produce energy.
VPX said its Bang beverages contained what VPX called Super Creatine, and claimed the beverages could reverse mental retardation and help cure Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease, according to Monster Beverage’s suit.
“To further deceive consumers and give the false impression of medical and scientific support for its snake oil products, VPX holds itself out as a pharmaceutical company,” the suit stated.
According to Monster, "VPX’s refusal to play by the rules has artificially boosted its sales at the expense of competitors and consumers alike."
In addition, Monster said it had “suffered and will continue to suffer damage to its business and goodwill. Monster has and will lose sales and profits and incur increased advertising and marketing costs.”
Last week, in addition to awarding Monster Beverage nearly $272 million for its false advertising allegations, the jury awarded it $18 million for claims that Bang interfered with retailer contracts for shelf space and $3 million for claims that Bang stole trade secrets from former Monster employees it recruited, as reported by Reuters.
In June of 2020, Monster joined with Orange Bang Inc. in legal proceedings against VPX for allegedly violating Orange Bang trademarks.
An arbitrator’s award of $175 million to Monster Beverage—affirmed in July—included the stipulation that VPX pay Monster and Orange Bang an ongoing 5% royalty on all future net sales of Bang products.
Marketing Daily reached out to VPX to determine whether it will appeal the false-advertising verdict but had not heard back by deadline.
In the four-week period ended Sept. 10, Monster’s dollar share of the energy drink category in outlets tracked by NielsenIQ was 37.1% to Bang’s 5.5%.\