Marketing Cocaine

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Marketing Cocaine

The makers of Cocaine, an energy drink, are back with a fresh marketing campaign.


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The energy drink called Cocaine got off to a rocky start when it went on the market a few years ago. As we reported (Summer 2007), the Food and Drug Administration sent a menacing letter to the manufacturer, Redux Beverages. Illinois and Connecticut threatened to sue Redux, and Texas barred the company from selling Cocaine there. In Dallas, agents of the Department of State Health Services raided a warehouse full of Cocaine. Street value: $200,000.

Now, Cocaine is back. California-based Redux tweaked the typeface for the name on the cans—the original looked too much like white powder for regulators—and got rid of the slogan “The Legal Alternative.” In a disclaimer printed on the cans, Redux now declares, “This product is not intended to be an alternative to an illicit street drug, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.” These changes satisfied the FDA, though not Texas, which still bans the beverage.

Peru won’t allow it either, according to Jamey Kirby, president of Redux. Peruvian officials maintain that the name is misleading. To market the drink there, Redux would need to add extract of coca leaf.