energy drinks Tag

By Jenny Martel The only energy drink I remember from my younger years is the highly caffeinated soda called Jolt Cola. I don’t recall that kids drank it or that they tried to get us to drink it with marketing. As a teenager, I didn't really know what to make of Red Bull when it was introduced. Today things are different. After reports of increased emergency room visits and even deaths from excessive caffeine consumption by children under 18, Red Bull is one of three energy drink companies embroiled in controversy concerning their marketing practices  to kids and teenagers. Last month energy drink makers Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar came under fire in a Senate commerce hearing . During the hearing energy drink makers were asked to describe their marketing practices to children and teenagers. Expert physicians and researchers were also asked for their opinion on the effects of caffeine consumption on kids and the effects of marketing to those children.  US Senators Rockefeller, Blumenthal and Durbin seemed determined to prove that children and adolescents are a major target of the energy drink companies via websites, events and other non-traditional marketing practices. [caption id="attachment_5454" align="alignright" width="200"]Austin Lancaster, a "private" in the Monster Army is just 15. Austin Lancaster, a "private" in the Monster Army is just 15.[/caption] Although Monster CEO Rodney Sacks stated that Monster's primary demographic is young adult males and that it "does not focus its brand initiatives on young teenagers," the drink maker sponsors a so-called Monster Army to support and develop teenaged athletes including some as young as 12 years old! Red Bull and Rockstar were not able to support their claims of not marketing to kids either, to the scorn of the Senators on the committee.