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September 21, 2017

Posted  September 21, 2017

California announced the concurrent filing of a complaint and a settlement involving allegations that The Gatorade Company violated California consumer protection laws by making misleading statements about water in a mobile videogame application it used to promote Gatorade sports drinks to teens and young adults. The complaint filed by the Attorney General alleges that in the videogame “Bolt!”—made available free of charge on iTunes—Gatorade portrayed its products positively while inaccurately and negatively depicting water as hindering athletic performance. Specifically, users controlled a cartoon version of Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt and ran an endless race to recover gold coins stolen by pirates. Upon touching a Gatorade icon, the Bolt avatar ran faster and the “fuel meter” increased; upon touching a water droplet, he slowed down and the “fuel meter” decreased. Gatorade reinforced this misleading message through the game’s tutorial, which urged users to “Keep Your Performance Level High By Avoiding Water.” CA