Poor Four Loko. The makers of this delightful beverage have been forced time and time again to alter their product and their packaging to appease the fun-hating SLA, FDA and general party-poopers across the country, and now, they're being made to adapt once more to the growing tide of naysayers. This time, Phusion Projects is bowing to the demands of the Federal Trade Commission, who accused the company of falsely advertising the potency of the beverage. But will the new labels deter customers, or just get them even more psyched to pick up some Blackout in a Can?
Phusion had apparently been advertising that a 23.5-ounce can of Loko, at 11-12 percent alcohol, had the same amount of alcohol has one or two regular old 12-ounce beers and could be safely consumed in one sitting. As it turns out, a 23.5-ounce can of Loko actually has as much alcohol as four or five beers, which might explain why people are crashing their cars all over the place after sipping upon the beverage. The new labels will name the amount of alcohol in one can and compare it to the amount in a regular beer, so they'll look something like this: "This can has as much alcohol as 4 regular (12 oz. 5 percent alc/vol) beers." Which is absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, the best possible way to keep teenagers from lunging after your drink!
The company is, naturally, denying any wrongdoing: "Even though we reached an agreement, we don't share the FTC's perspective, and we disagree with their allegations," Phusion co-founder Jaisen Freeman said. "We don't believe there were any violations. However, we take legal compliance very seriously and we share the FTC's interest in making sure consumers get all the information and tools they need to make smart, informed decisions." As an effort of goodwill, they're also putting the new Loko into resealable cans, so its legions of fans can savor the sweet, sweet taste for hours on end.
Update 10/6/11: Phusion has written in with the following from Freeman: "Four Loko’s labeling and marketing has never stated that the cans were the equivalent of 1-2 beers. Our labeling has always clearly conveyed exactly what’s in the can in bold, capital letters - 23.5 ounces and 12 percent ABV."