If you pick up any current muscle magazine you’ll likely to see the new ad campaign from VPX Sports advertising MUSCLE POWER. The ad has a number of people talking but is it for the right reasons? Some would say any publicity is good publicity. It’s not often people talk about supplement ads, as they generally all look the same. This ad certainly doesn’t look the same but is that a good thing?
Taking on an industry leader in advertising is nothing new. Coke vs Pepsi. Bud vs. Miller. Ford vs. Chevy. VPX has taken that approach with their ad directly targeting Muscle Milk. Industry leaders (which Muscle Milk is and has been) are used to other brands targeting them. How they are being targeted raises some questions.
The ad shows a baby nursing on a mother’s breast with the copy reading, “Muscle Milk is for Babies. Muscle Power is for Men!” I’m far from a prude but personally, I find the ad offensive. In my opinion, using an image of a nursing baby to sell your product shows lack of creativity. If Muscle Milk is for babies and Muscle Power is for men, what about women?
VPX also takes a risky move in their package design. The fonts and the packaging itself look very, very similar to Muscle Milk. I understand there are only so many packages that can be used for drinks but the design and look of it has free reign. One can only assume this is an attempt to cause confusion for the consumer. The ad shows the two products side by side and furthers my point
I’m not a math whiz but how can you have “600% Less Sugar”? If you said 1/2 as much or 1/4 as much ok but what formula is used to support a claim of 600% Less? I’m just ask’n. Don’t forget there is 200% more Fiber. Great so if I am reading this right, it won’t taste as sweet and you’ll being looking for a toilet twice as much
More to the story:
A Federal Court heard more evidence in a lawsuit filed by CytoSport (makers of Muscle Milk) against VPX (makers of Muscle Power) regarding this very issue. The following press release has been issued by Cytosport which summarizes the court’s findings. If you’d like to read the entire court document, click here (PDF).
CytoSport Secures Preliminary Court-Ordered Injunction of Muscle Power Due to Infringement of Muscle Milk® Trademark
On Wednesday, May 6th in Sacramento, CA, a Federal Court issued an order requiring Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPX) to immediately remove Muscle Power from the marketplace after concluding that the product infringes on CytoSport’s trademark rights of Muscle Milk®.
This preliminary injunction was prompted after CytoSport filed a lawsuit against VPX, stating that Muscle Power’s packaging, or “trade dress,” was deceptively similar to Muscle Milk®’s packaging. In its decision, the court stated that “VPX has chosen an identical font, in an identical color, on an identically shaped package, and placed the mark on the package in an identical location.” The court also stated that “when the marks are viewed as a whole with each product’s respective trade dress, the court has no difficulty concluding that the two marks are overwhelmingly similar.”
Upon concluding that VPX has violated CytoSport’s trademark rights, the court also stated that “VPX could have easily used a trade dress more consistent with its other RTD products, e.g. Redline, Black Pearl and Pump 7.” Given that the injunction is preliminary in nature, the lawsuit will continue while the injunction is in place.
“We are gratified by the court’s ruling and will continue to vigorously enforce our rights to protect our brand, our marketing partners, and our consumers against confusion in the marketplace,” says Greg Pickett, Co-Founder /CEO of CytoSport.
CytoSport, the maker of Muscle Milk®, is among the largest sport nutrition protein beverage companies in the U.S. and offers a complete line of protein-enhanced powders, shakes and bars. Muscle Milk® was recently named the 2008 Ready-to-Drink Beverage of the Year by bodybuilding.com, Best Functional Beverage and Beverage of the Year by BevNet and 2009 Company of the Year by Beverage Forum presented by Beverage Marketing Corporation and Beverage World. For more information on Muscle Milk or additional CytoSport products, visit: www.cytosport.com.
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