Energy Drinks Marketed to College Kids as a Mixer
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Energy Drinks Marketed to College Kids as a Mixer


The New York Post just published an article about how state attorney Eric Schneiderman is trying to ban Monster energy drinks on college campuses. He’s been probing the energy drink industry since 2012, waiting for them to slip and he believes they have now: there are emails, he claims, which prove that the green drink purposely promotes their product as a mixer for alcohol for underage drinkers. New York Executive Deputy Attorney General Karla Sanchez told ABC News that the company hosts parties on college campuses and provides “cooler-like containers that are provided with the Monster logo, wherein they mixed alcohol and Monster drinks.”

Schneiderman teamed up with San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera after a federal judge in California threw a lawsuit filed by Monster to stop Herrera’s investigation of them to the curb. Schneiderman then joined forces with the West Coast lawyers.

Paper Trail

This past October, Monster was forced to hand over documents to Schneiderman’s office that prove their head of marketing, Harmony Booker, told their “Collegiate Ambassador Team” to “throw rowdy parties and photograph the madness.” The Collegiate Ambassador Teams (CAT) is made up of men and attractive women that are paid $100 a party to get the students as riled up as possible. The Manhattan Supreme Court says that the documents prove that Monster told their CAT to attract college freshmen to sponsored parties where their product “was used as a shooter, mixer and chaser for alcohol.”

A CAT member and frat bro, identifying himself as Henry, says that he had to bend school rules at George Mason University in Virginia to promote the product. “Many Monsters were used for shooters and chasers [at a]pre-rush party with at least 300 people,” he says. Pre-rush is the time where fraternities throw parties for potential frat brothers. They’re almost always made up of freshmen—that is, those under the drinking age of 21.

Fighting Back

Monster is annoyed by all this of course and is hiding behind huge legal loopholes, saying that 10 billion cans have been “safely consumed.” They also claim that Schneiderman is overreaching his probe of their marketing department and is asking New York to block it by voiding the subpoenas (Schneiderman’s office is “confident” that that won’t happen). This all comes a month after Monster sold a 17% stake to Coca Cola for $2.15 billion dollars.

Schneiderman and Herrera will probably get their way and have new enforcements put on the energy drink industry, justifying their public positions and getting older people who prefer coffee to vote for them again. I say that Monster wouldn’t be worth billions of dollars it weren’t mixed with alcohol because, frankly, it’s disgusting; they clearly got caught green-handed showing that their market is college kids who drink it with booze at parties because who drinks energy drinks by themselves besides sober people?

Photo courtesy of MrkJohn from Nottingham, England (Monster Troupe) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Carlos Herrera is a comedian, photographer and writer whose work can also be found on The Fix . He has been featured in LA Weekly and has performed at The Hollywood Improv among other places.