South Beach Beverage Co. has been fined for false advertising. The US beverage company paid a US$219,000 penalty and reimbursement for legal expense to settle the dispute, according to Connecticut state officials.

The company falsely advertised and packaged its products as protection against colds and other illnesses and to increase energy levels, said state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Edwin Rodriguez, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection in a statement.

"Duping customers into believing that a flavoured beverage will stop illness, enhance memory or reduce stress is deceptive and deplorable," Blumenthal said.

South Beach Beverage Co., or SoBe, is an operating unit of Pepsi-Cola North America, which is part of PepsiCo. A company spokeswoman called the statement, "old news."

"SoBe co-operated with the Connecticut Attorney General's Office from the very beginning of this issue and worked to resolve it in a timely manner," spokeswoman Kristine Hinck said. "These messages have not been on SoBe bottles for at least two years."