Sports drink Gatorade has agreed to pay $300,000 (£220,000) in the state of California through an app called Bolt! which featured a character based on the Olympic medalist Usain Bolt.
In the game of Bolt I had to drink Gatorade to improve their performance, while the water slowed him.
The attorney-General Xavier Becerra, said that the game was made “misleading statements” on the water.
The app was launched in 2012, and is no longer available for download.
It was only available in the Apple operating system and it has been downloaded 2.3 million times from 2012 to 2013.
It was briefly available again in 2017.
Players were told to “keep your performance high by avoiding water” in a tutorial that accompanies the game, the Prosecutor General’s office said.
In a statement Gatorade’s parent company PepsiCo said that the game was designed to “highlight the unique role and benefits of sports drinks in support of the sports performance”.
“We recognize the role that water plays in the overall health and well-being,” he said, adding that it is also marketed brands of bottled water.Audience of young people
Bolt! had an audience of mainly young people from 13 to 24, the state added.
“Making misleading statements is a violation of California law. But making misleading statements aimed at our children is beyond illegal, it’s morally wrong and a betrayal of trust.
“It’s what makes consumers lose faith in the products they buy,” said Mr. Becerra.
Almost half of the settlement ($120,000) will be used to finance research and education in the consumption of water and nutrition in young people.
PepsiCo said in a 2014 statement that are not advertised in spaces where children under the age of 12 years account for over 35% of the audience.
Analyst Jack Kent, IHS Markit ,told the BBC the app store market had moved away from “branded entertainment” and games connected to a particular advertising campaign.
“The mobile is the main channel to reach an audience of young people, and the increase of brand, applications, highlight that, but now there is more interest to reach out to the users via the existing mobile social, entertainment and media platforms instead of only through a dedicated application,” he said.