Pepsi and Coca-Cola normally compete in the soft drink aisle, but the two beverage giants are about to square off in court. PepsiCo is suing its competitor for false advertising.
At issue is Pepsi's Gatorade sports drink. Coke is currently promoting its own sports beverage, Powerade ION4, by suggesting Gatorade is "an incomplete sports drink."
Lawyers for Pepsi argue the claim is false and they want a judge to order Coke to stop the ads. The Pepsi legal team claims the Coke campaign is all "a calculated, intentional strategy designed to falsely and viciously attack the readily identifiable market leader, Gatorade, in the hopes of unfairly gaining precious market share."
So, why does Coke say Gatorade is "incomplete?" Coke claims that Gatorade doesn't have all the electrolytes a sports drink should have to replenish the body's minerals. Specifically, it says Gatorade doesn't have calcium and magnesium and that Powerade does.
Visitors to the PowerAde Website are immediately hit with the claim, with a flash program loading a partial Webpage and the message "you wouldnt settle for an incomplete Website, so don't settle for an incomplete sports drink."
Pepsi responds that Powerade may contain calcium and magnesium, but does so in such trace amounts they're meaningless.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, claims Coke's extensive ad campaign against Gatorade is deceptive and amounts to unfair competition.