Gatorade vs. Powerade ION4 Lawsuit Part II


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In an earlier post, BevWire indicated that PepsiCo was suing The Coca-Cola Company over their advertisements claiming that Gatorade was an incomplete  sports drink.  BevWire has found some recent developments saying that a federal judge has denied PepsiCo’s request for an injunction against Coca-Cola’s Powerade advertising campaign.

On August 5th 2009, Judge John Koeltl explained why he denied PepsiCo’s request.  PepsiCo had started testing Gatorade’s forumla with serious athletes in 2004 and found that calcium and magnesium – the two additional ingredients from Powerade Ion4 – were also lost in athletes sweating.  At that point, PepsiCo positioned its Endurance Formula sports drink with a message stating that these two additional ingredients were important for an athlete’s full functionality.  PepsiCo subsequently learned that The Coca-Cola Company was producing Ion4 and wanted to be first to enter the market.  However, PepsiCo could not find a strong source for the calcium ingredient and accessing the source would delay their entry into the marketplace and thus abandoned the idea.

Although the Powerade Ion4 advertising campaign ended in May, an important question to ask is: did the campaign work?  Some may claim it’s too early to say, but Powerade did gain some share points against Gatorade (for more information, read this post).  To BevWire, that makes the campaign a success, at least in the short term.

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