Red Bull’s cola drink is being pulled from shelves in Germany after traces of cocaine were found in the product.
It is not known at this stage if the move will have an impact in the UK and other markets including the US. However a Red Bull UK spokesman says “the product is legal so it should have no impact”.
Health officials in Germany found that a non-cocaine extract from the coca leaf used as a flavouring additive in Red Bull Simply Cola meant that it could not be classified as a food product but as a narcotic requiring a special licence.
The cola drink, which has not been deemed as posing a health threat, has now been banned in certain parts of Germany and is expected to be taken off shelves throughout the country.
In a statement from Red Bull Germany, the drinks company says it met with the Bavarian Ministry for Environment, Health and Consumer Protection yesterday (May 25) in a bid to “clear up any concerns”.
“Based on this meeting, the Ministry has decided to officially investigate the existing examination results. We are sure that we will be able to clear up the facts very soon,” Red Bull says.
It comes in the wake of news that Red Bull is looking to appoint an advertising agency to handle the cola account in the UK just over a year after it launched
It supported the launch in April last year with a £2m campaign created by its existing roster of agencies Kastner & Partners and AMS Media Group. It included outdoor advertising, sampling and experiential activity.