I'm quoting this story directly from the Dallas Morning News:
Cocaine ban extended
"A Dallas County judge on Wednesday extended the ban on the sale of Cocaine energy drinks until November. The Texas attorney general's office contends that the drink, which is marketed as "speed in a can" and a "legal alternative" to street drugs, is being illegally sold as an unapproved drug.
Cocaine – which contains as much caffeine as 3 ½ Red Bulls – has developed a large fan base among youths who frequent the MySpace and YouTube Web sites.
Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages, which makes the drink, says it is being targeted because of the name. The company is changing the name to Censored.
The ban prevents the distribution of 172,000 cans stored in warehouses in Dallas and Arlington."
I'm sure having your inventory stuck in a warehouse can't be good for business, but they're trying to make the best of it with the name change. I predict a red ink stamp logo. Should be good for a few more drops of publicity.
Of course, this article makes the judge look clueless. But the original case involved the brand advertising itself as both an alternative to illicit drugs and a dietary supplement, which the FDA tends to frown upon. (You can read more in this earlier Star-Telegram story.)
So do they have a smart marketing plan designed to generate free media coverage and are adapting to the fallout or did they get lucky with a grab bag of slimy tactics? Probably a bit of both.
(pictures yanked from The I Read It On The Internet Blog.)