You know how you sometimes read obituaries and the primary shock comes from the fact that the person was still alive? That's how I felt when I saw this headline:
Turns out that the news site, DNAinfo—or possibly Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan—was confused about the terms of the alcopop's latest slide down the greasy pole. Four Loko limps along after all.
The settlement actually allows continued sales of Four Loko, but limits advertising to college students and underage drinkers, including a ban on young-looking models in advertisements. Phusion promises not to suggest that kids mix their product with something caffeinated either. And the company will pay $400,000 to defray the cost of the suit.
The decison was forced by a suit from 20 attorneys general. Let's pause for a name-and-shame: Thanks Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington, plus the city attorney of San Francisco!
Here's Phusion Projects President Jim Sloan:
"While our company did not violate any laws and we disagree with the allegations of the State Attorneys General, we consider this agreement a practical way to move forward and an opportunity to highlight our continued commitment to ensuring that our products are consumed safely and responsibly only by adults 21 and over."
Four Loko hasn't actually been caffeinated since 2010, something Sloan must be damned tired of pointing out by now. It's just a can of not especially high-proof sugary booze, and has been for a good while.
Want to feel especially sad? Here the last pathetic little bit of fight that's left in the company's president:
"Phusion continues to believe, however, as do many people throughout the world, that the combination of alcohol and caffeine can be consumed safely and responsibly," Sloan said.
In honor of this obviously true statement, the next time you stir up an Irish coffee or sip a rum and Coke on a warm night, go ahead and pour one out for the homies. Four Loko might not be dead yet, but it's hard to imagine meddlesome officials will leave this particular horse alone until it's well and truly beaten.