Mom Wants Apology From Energy Drink
By Kevin Reece
June 29, 2005
SNOHOMISH COUNTY - Last week at Mill
Creek Skate Park in Snohomish County the
skaters got a visitor. A beverage
distributor opened a cooler full of
energy drinks and announced he was
handing them out for free.
"It's like oh yeah ... free stuff
that's cool," Cameron Nicholson
remembers of the encounter.
It was even "cooler" he said when the
man started handing out free stickers
that the skaters could put on their
skateboards to advertise the products.
One of the stickers proved more popular
than the rest.
It was an image of a woman in a
bikini holding one of the 16 oz cans
with both hands directly in front of the
lower half of her sparse string bikini.
"Ultimate sex drive sticker that one
was the one they gave out the most,"
said Cameron. The drink called Wired XXX
promised "Hardcore Energy" and an
"Ultimate Sex Drive."
"Those ones went real quick," said
Cameron of the sticker the young skaters
clamored to get.
Cameron Nicholson is 12 years old.
His mom made him remove the sticker
from his skateboard when he brought a
bag full of stickers and six cans of the
energy drinks home.
"To me, pornographic," said his mom
Arlene Sutton. "Tying in sex with these
drinks? Handing those kind of stickers
out to little boys is beyond my ... I
just can't think how anybody would think
that's a responsible thing to do. That
to me really crossed the line."
A line Cameron's mom says they
crossed twice. The drinks, loaded with
caffeine and a variety of herbal
ingredients that promise everything from
increased libido to heightened energy
levels, carry warning labels saying that
are not recommended for people with
heart conditions, not recommended for
pregnant women, and not recommended for
"Because they have a warning on the can
that it's not intended for children that
nobody would be marketing it to anyone
under age 18," said Sutton of how she
believes the drinks should be marketed.
Cameron also has kidney disease and
his mom tries to monitor carefully how
much sugar, fructose, and other
ingredients like caffeine he consumes.
Arlene tried to contact the company,
Unique Beverage Company of Everett, and
we tried too but never received a
Sutton says she is hoping at least
for an apology.
"I feel like they need to be held
accountable for what they're doing to
Currently there are more than 1,000
companies vying for a piece of the
lucrative "energy drink" market. The
industry leader is still Red Bull with
an estimated 60 percent market share and
annual revenue of approximately $150
million a year.