Gatorade has agreed not to make disparaging comments about water as part of a $300,000 settlement reached Thursday with California over allegations it misleadingly portrayed water's benefits in a cellphone game where users refuel Olympic runner Usain Bolt.
The game, downloaded 30,000 times in California and 2.3 million times worldwide, is no longer available.
The dispute between the sports-drink company and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was settled in less than a day after Becerra filed a complaint in Los Angeles County.
Becerra's complaint alleges the game, called Bolt!, misleadingly portrayed the health benefits of water in a way that could harm children's nutritional choices. The game encouraged users to "keep your performance level high and avoid water," with Bolt's fuel level going down after drinking water but up after drinking Gatorade, the complaint alleged.
The settlement should serve as a warning to companies that falsely advertise, Becerra said.
"Making misleading statements is a violation of California law. But making misleading statements aimed at our children is beyond unlawful, it's morally wrong and a betrayal of trust," he said in a statement.
Gatorade agreed to the settlement but has not admitted wrongdoing.
"The mobile game, Bolt!, was designed to highlight the unique role and benefits of sports drinks in supporting athletic performance. We recognize the role water plays in overall health and wellness, and offer our consumers great options," spokeswoman Katie Vidaillet said in an email.
In addition to agreeing not to disparage water, Gatorade agreed not to make Bolt! or any other games that give the impression that water will hinder athletic performance or that athletes only consume Gatorade and do not drink water. Gatorade also agreed to use "reasonable efforts" to abide by parent company PepsiCo's policy on responsible advertising to children and to disclose its contracts with endorsers.
Of the settlement money, $120,000 will go toward the study or promotion of childhood and teenager nutrition and the consumption of water.
Kenya's Supreme Court is delivering its full judgment on why it annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in August.
The court annulled Kenyatta's victory in the August 8 election saying there were irregularities and illegalities, in response to opposition leader Raila Odinga's petition challenging the official results that Kenyatta won with 54 percent of the vote. The electoral commission has set Oct. 17 as the date for a fresh election. Kenya's Chief Justice David Maraga said Tuesday that since the September 1 judgment nullifying the election results, there have been attempts to intimidate judges.
Kenyatta has called the Supreme Court judges "crooks" and warned of unspecified action against the judiciary if he is re-elected next month. Kenyatta's supporters demonstrated outside the Supreme Court Tuesday ahead of the full judgment on Wednesday.
Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, has announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations.
A statement by the Wayne, New Jersey-based company late Monday says it voluntarily is seeking relief in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond - and that its Canadian subsidiary is seeking similar protection through a Canadian court.
Toys R Us says court-supervised proceedings will help restructure its outstanding debt and reorganize for long-term growth.
The company says separate operations outside the U.S. and Canada, including more than 250 licensed stores and a joint venture partnership in Asia, are not part of the filings.
It emphasizes that its approximately 1,600 locations will remain open, that it will continue to work with suppliers and sell merchandise.
A Palestinian court has extended the detention of a prominent activist who criticized the autonomy government of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Farid al-Atrash, the lawyer of Issa Amro, said Thursday that the court had extended his client's detention for four days.
He says Amro is being held under a recent edict that allows the government to crack down on social media critics. In a Facebook post, Amro criticized the detention of a local journalist who called for Abbas' detention.
"This is a black day in the history of the Palestinian judicial system and for Palestinian freedom of expression," al-Atrash said.
Amro was detained on Monday and has been on a hunger strike since then. Amro, 35, also faces charges in an Israeli military court. His trial is to resume in October.