A Lubbock bar said it would abandon Red Bull products, after the energy drink company presented a list of drink ideas to bar management that included a ‘roofie bomb.’
The drink name, which eludes to a date-rape drug, was not initially noticed by the staff at Flippers Tavern when the Red Bull representative brought the promotional items last month.
“[Red Bull has] three new flavors, and they gave us three different sheets with suggestions of shots and mixed drinks to use those drinks in,” said bar manager Olivia Hall. “The shot was called a ‘roofie bomb,’ and it just made my stomach sink.”
“Everyone that I work either knows someone or they themselves experienced something along the lines of a roofie,” Hall said.
“We donate to our local rape crisis center. It’s something that we care about a lot,” Hall said.
After talking with the Red Bull representative who presented the list, she alerted him the bar would no longer purchase Red Bull products.
“I let him know that not only did we find this unacceptable, and we weren’t going to purchase Red Bull from them, we are not going to carry Red Bull at all. We’re going to discontinue. When we’re done with our stock of Red Bull, we’re going to change to something else,” she added.
Hall emphasized that the college-town atmosphere around Texas Tech could do more to breed a stronger conversation about date-rape culture.
“It’s not funny. It’s not a joke. Though it may seem something small, that it’s just a shot on a promotional sheet, it’s not small. This is how you create change. You have to point out every little instance where something isn’t right. and that’s not right,” she explained.
“It just made me sick, and it also made me concerned that maybe another company or another bar wouldn’t see it, wouldn’t maybe read through it all and put that on their tables as an idea and not even realize what they are doing,” she said.
Red Bull responded to the situation.
“The list of names was not created by Red Bull. We have initiated an investigation in relation to this matter and can confirm that the appropriate course of action will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation,” said representative Patrice Radden.
Hall said she contacted the Red Bull representative after the staff noticed the ‘roofie bomb’ name.
He replied in part: “I can assure you that myself or Red Bull do not condone in this behavior. I didn’t proof read the file the 3rd party created and that’s how that shot got on the sales sheet.”
He explained to Hall via email that the shot was removed from future promotional materials.
“It maybe wasn’t his idea, he wasn’t the one who did it, but you just can’t let it keep going,” Hall said. “Someone has to proofread. Someone has to see that that’s not okay and think ‘Hm, maybe I should send this back for editing.'”
“Red Bull is a big company,” Hall added. “I think Red Bull is at fault for not seeing that from the third party, and sending it back and saying ‘Let’s do this over again. This isn’t good.'”
“Think if this was your friend, your mother, your daughter,” she said. “If this was them and somebody brought them a ‘roofie bomb,’ if it had something else in it or not, how would you feel about that? It’s uncomfortable.”
“I feel like stopping something like this is looking out for everyone,” said Hall.