Red Bull and Pepsi`s Spat Over a Tagline

Red Bull and Pepsi`s Spat Over a Tagline
Case Code: CLMM168
Case Length: 4 Pages
Period: -
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.200
Organization: Red Bull GmbH
Industry: Food & Beverage
Countries: India
Themes: Marketing Communication, Business Ethics, Advertising & Promotion,Marketing Strategy
Red Bull and Pepsi`s Spat Over a Tagline


The case “Red Bull and Pepsi’s Tagline Spat” discusses the tagline tiff between multinational beverage brands Red Bull GmbH and PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd., (PepsiCo). Red Bull had alleged that Pepsi’s Sting brand in India used a tagline that was deceptively similar to its own, which it had been using since 1987. However, Pepsi brushed aside the allegations and claimed that its tagline in fact described its product’s features. The case highlights the importance of trademark laws and the actions to be taken in case of infringement, apart from emphasizing the marketing ethics to be followed.


  • Understand the laws related to trademarks in India.
  • Identify the ways in which companies indulge in unethical marketing practices.
  • Recognize the ethical issues involved in advertising and marketing.
  • Analyze the need for organizations to adhere to ethics in their marketing communications.


In April 2022, the Delhi High Court, India, dismissed an injunction application in a trademark infringement suit filed by energy drink brand Red Bull against competing beverage brand Sting Energy (Sting) for using the tagline ‘Stimulates Mind, Energizes Body’ (See Exhibit I for representation of the brands). Red Bull alleged that Sting’s tagline was deceptively similar to its own– ‘Vitalizes Body and Mind’, which it had been using since 1987. Red Bull stated that its tagline was not only registered in India under Trademark Class 32 since 2010, but was also used in 73 different countries around the world.


Business Ethics; Marketing Management; Ethics in Marketing; Trademarks; Passing Off; Taglines; Infringement; Marketing Communications; Legal Battle; Secondary Meaning; Brand Management; Creativity; Brainstorming; Reputation; Deception

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