Liquid Death, a beverage company best known for selling cans of water resembling tall boy beers, is being criticized for its latest stunt.
The brand, which expanded into the iced tea market this year, took to Instagram on Saturday to announce the name of its version of an Arnold Palmer — the iconic lemonade-iced tea mix made famous by the golf legend of the same name who died in 2016.
Liquid Death said it originally called the beverage “Armless Palmer” but it was threatened with a lawsuit.
So the company decided to rename its lemonade-ice tea drink “Dead Billionaire.”
“If you like our Armless Palmer tea/lemonade, then you are going to LOVE our new Dead Billionaire tea/lemonade,” the company began its post.
“Why? Because it’s the EXACT same thing, only now it has a way cooler name that won’t require us to fight a senseless legal battle with a large enterprise who sent us a letter saying we can’t use the word ‘Palmer’ and who are also partnered with a giant iced tea corporation. Both of whom have far more $$$ to burn on legal fees than we do,” Liquid Death said.
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The move quickly drew a backlash from fans of the golfer on social media.
“What a disgusting company,” one X user said of Liquid Death, which is based in Santa Monica, California. “I had the honor to work with Arnold Palmer and his family. He was a great American and class act. This is classless.”
— Mike Ryan (@mryan311) November 28, 2023
It’s a legit marketing play but it’s also pretty heartless to a legends family.
1.) they own the name I can’t call my new phone an iPhone
2.) “sue” is probably being tossed around, I bet they got a C&D
3.) tasteless gen z marketing tactics don’t build long term relationships.
— Brett and Butter (@BrettandButter) November 27, 2023
“What a wild move. And bad look,” another person posted.
What a wild move. And bad look
— Jared Doerfler (@DoerflerJared) November 27, 2023
Liquid Death did not name the “large enterprise” that had sent the company a letter or the “giant iced tea corporation.”
Liquid Death concluded its post by saying, “Our new Dead Billionaire cans have started to trickle out on Amazon and will begin hitting retail shelves in the spring. Experts are predicting potential brawls in retailers as customers fight over remaining Armless Palmer cans before they become extinct forever and reselling as collectors items for billions of dollars.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.