The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that Four Loko maker Phusion Products, LLC has agreed to relabel its frat-boy-friendly beverages to reflect the actual alcohol content in every can -- which roughly translates to "a shitload of booze."
According to the FTC, "one can of Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four to five 12-ounce cans of regular beer and is not safe to drink on a single occasion. Consuming a single can of Four Loko on a single occasion constitutes 'binge drinking,' which is defined by health officials as men drinking five (and women drinking four) or more standard alcoholic drinks in about two hours."
In what the FTC calls an "administrative settlement," Phusion Projects
is now required to include disclosures on containers of Four Loko stating
how much alcohol, compared to the amount of alcohol found in regular
beer, is in the drink. (For example: This can has as much alcohol as four and a half regular [12-oz 5 percent alcohol/vol] beers.).
Phusion Projects will also be required to use
only resealable containers for flavored malt beverages that have more
alcohol than the equivalent of two and a half regular beers.
Jaisen Freeman, one of the cofounders of Phusion Products, LLC,
said in response to the settlement: "Even though we reached an
agreement, we don't share the FTC's perspective, and we disagree with
their allegations. 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."
It looks like the FTC announcement isn't stopping Phusion from
expanding. The company just announced a line of Poko Loko products,
which feature the same carbonated fruit taste in a smaller can with a
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lower alcohol content (8 percent). The new Poko Loko will come in green apple,
cherry, mango, and lemonade.
Because the target demographic for sugary, fruity drinks with high alcohol content is probably college students with little money, we're thinking this announcement might be the best thing that's ever happened to Four Loko. Maybe the FTC should go into marketing and public relations.