Frucor’s rocket grounded

Locking horns with Red Bull has backfired for Frucor. The energy drink manufacturer  has failed in its attempt to stop Red Bull using the phrase ‘blue and silver pocket rocket’ in promotional material for its new Energy Shot product.

Red Bull’s Energy Shot was the first to market in August 2009, with an advertising campaign featuring the ‘blue and silver pocket rocket’ slogan. Frucor’s V Pocket Rocket Energy Shot followed soon after.

In the High Court last December Frucor’s lawyers asked Justice Judith Potter for an interim injunction to stop Red Bull using the phrase. They argued that after Frucor’s massive promotional campaign for V Pocket Rocket, consumers might mistakenly believe Red Bull’s Energy Shot was the V product, because of the promotional references to ‘blue and silver pocket rocket’.

In a decision issued last week, Justice Judith Potter said there was no basis for an interim injunction.

Frucor has failed to satisfy me that there is any reasonable likelihood of confusion or deception amongst the relevant public.”

Red Bull New Zealand’s General Manager Glynn Rowell described the decision as a total vindication of Red Bull’s position.

Frucor chose to name its product V Pocket Rocket knowing Red Bull was already using ‘rocket in your pocket’ in the USA. We felt strongly that as the first energy drink company to use Pocket Rocket, we shouldn’t have to change our promotions because Frucor decided to use it too. We were confident of our position and we’re obviously very pleased by this outcome.”

The Court also awarded costs to Red Bull.

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