News: 50 Cent's Vitaminwater Sued, Group Claims Ads "Mislead Consumers"

Monday, Jan 19, 2009 12:21PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Beverage company Vitaminwater, which sells 50 Cent's Formula 50, is being sued for allegedly misleading customers about its nutritional information.

The lawsuit claims the company, which is owned by Coca-Cola, knowingly misinforms customers.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola, claiming they mislead consumers using "buzzwords" in their marketing campaign, such as "defense," "rescue," "energy," and "endurance." CSPI leader Steven Gardner feels, "It is really shocking that a company like Coca-Cola feels the need to market a soft drink as a vitamin pill to hid the fact it is really sugar water." (Emax Health)

Health analysts and Coca-Cola have since responded to the allegations.

Registered dietician Mary Lee Chin says it's fair to call the product Vitamin Water, but the marketing claims really can't be backed up. Coke calls the lawsuit a publicity stunt. It says consumers can see what the drink is made of on the nutrition facts panel of every bottle. (CBS News)

50 purchased a share of Vitamin Water around 2004.

You'll see 50 Cent in ads for his own flavor of upscale Glacéau Vitaminwater. The ads promote Formula 50, a grape-flavor water with 50% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins, which he helped concoct last year. Glaceau approached him after learning he's a fan of their other designer waters. In the ads, 50 Cent reads The Wall Street Journal, retrieves the mail at his Connecticut home, records in a studio and works out at a gym. The ads are designed to show that Glaceau is part of his daily routine. (USA Today)

He has since made a fortune after Coca-Cola purchased the company summer 2007.

Coca Cola has purchased Glaceau, the creator of the highly successful Vitamin Water franchise for $4.1 billion dollars. 50 Cent, who owns 10% of the business, will earn over $400 million dollars from the transaction. (Def Sounds)

No information has been released on a trial date for the case.

[For more on your favorite rappers from the Big Apple peep SOHH NYC]

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