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Misleading ads in “Gröbi Waldbeere”

Misleading ads in “Gröbi Waldbeere”

The famous soft drink “Gröbi” is available in several flavors, including “Gröbi Wild Berry.” The bottle label is decorated with vibrant images of local fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. On the website, the drink is described, among other things, with the description “This is the taste of home. Enjoy good berries. Like a basket of fresh fruit picked in the forest“It is described.

In fact, “Gröbi Waldbeere” does not contain any cranberry ingredients, neither in the form of juice (concentrate) nor in the form of natural fruit flavours. VKI saw this as a misleading product presentation and filed a lawsuit. HG Vienna has already followed the legal opinion of the VKI and banned DrinkStar GmbH from this type of advertising because the product does not contain any juice or juice concentrate from the fruits depicted. Therefore, it is not permissible to serve it even if the drink contains the natural flavors of the fruits pictured.

As a result, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna confirmed this decision and stated that correcting the list of ingredients does not change the potential to mislead, since large groups of consumers do not read it or do not read it with great interest. The Vienna Higher Regional Court did not accept DrinkStar GmbH's objection that consumers would only understand the depicted fruits as an indicator of flavour. Gröbi Waldbeere also does not meet the requirements of the Food Code for soft drinks. In the court's opinion, this does not exclude the possibility that the product presentation was misleading.

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The Supreme Court dismissed DrinkStar GmbH's extraordinary appeal against this order.

Vienna Higher Regional Court, 13 November 2023, 33 R 130/23i
OGH 25 January 2024, 4 Op 230/23 AD

The accused: Dr. Annemarie Kosicenik-Verle, a lawyer in Vienna