Does drinking Gatorade help you get over the flu? A health group says a recent Gatorade ad featuring basketball legend Michael Jordan deceptively implies the drink helped him hydrate while suffering from the flu, helping the Chicago Bulls win Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 1997. They’re not questioning the game’s outcome, but are focused on what they say is a dangerous in-flu-ence (sorry) over teens who might fuel and run.
The Public Health Advocacy Institute, a legal research center at Northeastern University School of Law sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) taking issue with the ad by Gatorade owner PepsiCo because it encourages teens to engage in dangerous behavior.
"It is a generally recognized safety principle that teens and even professional athletes suffering from a severe fever and flu-like symptoms should not engage in vigorous physical activity."
PepsiCo said it was aware of the letter but had no immediate comment. The FTC confirmed receipt of the letter, but said it had made no decision on whether to look into the matter.
The group is reportedly asking the FTC to investigate whether the color of the liquid in the cup featured at the beginning of the commercial was enhanced or altered, and says that PepsiCo should be ordered to undertake corrective advertising consistent with government recommendation that people with the flu should stay home and not engage in vigorous physical activity.