By Ruth Brown
Gatorade has been banned from insulting its main competitor — water — and fined $300,000 after it slandered nature’s sports drink in a video game, California’s Attorney General announced Thursday.
AG Xavier Becerra sued the neon-colored beverage company over its cellphone game “Bolt!” in which players guide track star Usain Bolt around to collect coins and bottles of Gatorade but must avoid water — which slows the Olympian down.
“Gatorade portrayed its products positively while inaccurately and negatively depicting water as hindering athletic performance,” Becerra’s office said in a statement.
“Making misleading statements is a violation of California law.”
The company agreed to a settlement that includes the financial penalty — $120,000 of which will be used to fund research into water consumption — keeping nasty comments about water to itself, and to refrain from advertising in media where kids comprise more than a third of the audience.