CEI Defends Consumer Choice as FTC, State Attorneys General Unfairly Target Popular Alcoholic Beverage

Washington, DC, January 4, 2011 – As state attorneys general and federal regulators move forward with efforts to persecute the maker of the alcoholic beverage, “Four Loko,” CEI submitted public comment to the Federal Trade Commission defending consumer choice against such nanny state regulation.

After the FTC charged Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko, with deceptive advertising, the agency and the Chicago-based company had reached a settlement agreement in October, 2011 whereby the company would add resealable tops to their cans and add a warning label stating the alcohol content of one can as equivalent to 4.5 ”regular” beers.  But now, 34 state attorneys general are trying to get the settlement scrapped and force more restrictions on the popular beverage.

“Further action by the FTC against Phusion is unwarranted, could potentially infringe on First Amendment rights, hinder competitiveness in the marketplace and may overstep the Commission’s authority,” warned CEI’s Michelle Minton in a public comment submitted to the FTC.

“Commercial entities, like individuals, have a right to free expression, and that freedom ought to extend to their ability to freely communicate the attributes of their products to any potential consumer, so long as that communication is factual,” said Minton. “Phusion Projects has bent over backwards to accommodate its critics; it’s time to let them get back to the business of making and marketing the product their consumers want and it’s time for government agencies, state AGs, and other busy-bodies to butt out and let adult consumers use their own judgment in deciding what beverages they want to drink.”

► Read more on the Four Loko issue at Openmarket.org.

► Read the CEI public comment to the FTC.

► Read more on “sindustry” issues by Michelle Minton.