Worst Branding Ever: Accused Rapist Debuts ‘Four Loko Defense’

The toxic combination of caffeine, alcohol and corn syrup known as Four Loko got a lot of bad press a couple of years ago thanks to Chuck Schumer and a few other buzzkills with time on their hands (like Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who wasn’t afraid to use his own vomit to make a point).

After the company caved and removed the caffeine from its products, a whole bunch of other beverage makers like Colt 45 decided to cash in on the “dangerous sugar drink” craze. Politicians had some new enemies, but Four Loko just kept chugging along.

The worst news regarding the infamous Loko involved reports of young people blacking out after drinking it—and now, in a frankly disgusting turn of events, a man accused of raping a woman in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park has debuted the “Four Loko defense”, claiming that he was too intoxicated by the sugary drink to remember what happened that night—the implication being that he should therefore not be held responsible.

Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but did we mention that this guy is both homeless and a twice-convicted sex offender? The accused allegedly told officers “I drank five Four Lokos, Grey Goose vodka, smoked marijuana and K2. I was going toward the Brooklyn Bridge and was going to jump off the bridge.”


We guess that, when a product is best-known for its ability to help one “get blotto”, reports like this one can’t do too much damage to the brand. But based on the frankly disturbing photo attached to this story, we know somebody somewhere does publicity for Four Loko—and we can’t imagine that person is too terribly happy with his or her job right now.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: October 24, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/rapist-debuts-four-loko-defense/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT