"Blow" maker a scumbag?

Logan Gola’s Blow Energy Drink Mix got exactly the kind of attention that the BevNET staff was afraid it would.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mary Bono-Mack – while standing next to a representative from the Betty Ford Clinic – urged Gola to pull his product from the market.

She also called him a “scumbag.”

Can you really call Logan Gola a “scumbag?” Sure, he markets a powdered white energy drink mix and calls it “Blow.” And, yeah, he ships in a vial, along with credit card and a mirror.

Okay. So, maybe “scumbag” is an adequate title – which raises another point.

Gola is bad for the energy drink segment. His recent appearance on Fox News inspired New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) to draft legislation that, if passed, would ban the sale of all energy drinks to minors. Gola and his ilk catch headlines with their line-crossing products, and paint the entire category as if it’s filled with brands meant for people you wouldn’t want to invite into your mother’s house.

The category doesn’t need that, and it’s capable of more than shock marketing. Just look at Red Bull. There’s nothing shocking about two bulls clashing on a blue and silver can. Or Amp. Or Vitamin Energy. Or Bawls. There may be some edginess in there, but mostly these are quality products that deliver the same benefits as coffee.

But that simple fact – that, for the most part, energy drinks are no more dangerous than the typical cup of joe – won’t matter as long as people like Gola are around. And until beverage companies shout him down, he’ll keep poising public opinion against energy drinks.