If Mountain Dew Spiked Isn’t Spiked Should It Be Called “Spiked”?

business_ethics_highlights_2Although likely old news to Mountain Dew-ophiles, one of the editors recently encountered Mountain Dew Spiked—a Mountain Dew-based beverage “spiked” with fruit juice. The scare quotes are apt because Mountain Dew Spiked isn’t spiked in the usual sense. Colloquially, “spiked” refers to a non-alcoholic beverage to which alcohol has been added. Thus, the connotation of the name is that Mountain Dew Spiked is an alcoholic version of Mountain Dew. (This is similar to the connotation of “hard” in hard ciders or in beverages such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade.)

As the included picture shows, Mountain Dew Spiked’s can includes prominent text indicating both what the beverage is “spiked” with (prickly pear fruit juice) and that the beverage is non-alcoholic. However, both of these are less prominent than the large and suggestive “spiked” logo.

Discussion questions: Does Mountain Dew cross a line here? If so, what is the line and what evidence would one point to in order to show it has been crossed? If not, what saves Mountain Dew from the conclusion the company is trading falsely on the racier connotations of the word “spiked”? >>>

LINK: Mountain Dew rolling out spiked lemonade, but there’s a catch (by Fox News)

In the world of fruity liquid refreshment, a “spiked” beverage usually contains at least a little bit of alcohol.

But apparently Mountain Dew didn’t get the memo.

The spiked lemonade collection may sound like a sweet and tart party in a can, but spoiler alert for all you Four Loko fans—these spiked beverages don’t actually have any alcohol. Instead, the beverages are spiked with prickly pear cactus juice and sweetened with agave and “natural” sugars.

What do you think?

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Business Ethics Stories of 2018 | Business Ethics Highlights

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