Sierra Mist Lawsuit: Internet Star "Cierra Mistt" Claims Legal Battle with PepsiCo


Dec. 12 2023, Published 5:03 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • TikTok creator Cierra Mistt claims that PepsiCo has taken legal action against her, sparking speculation and debate.
  • The discontinuation of Sierra Mist and its replacement with a new soft drink called Starry has added to the controversy.
  • The lack of official statements and transparency from both parties leaves unanswered questions about the nature of the legal action.
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A TikTok storm has brewed after an internet personality named Cierra Mistt alluded to the beverage giant PepsiCo taking legal action against her, due to her name's likeness to PepsiCo's soda Sierra Mist.

Not surprisingly, her accusations spread like wildfire within the online community. Here's what you need to know.

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Internet star Cierra Mistt says Pepsi sued her (and lost).

At the heart of this controversy lies the discontinuation of PepsiCo's iconic "Sierra Mist" soft drink in January 2023 and its subsequent replacement with the lemon-lime soda dubbed "Starry."

Cierra Mistt, known for her engaging flight attendant content, says she's been using her online name since the days of AOL Instant Messenger. In a YouTube video she posted in July 2023, she claimed that the soda giant had accused her of trademark infringement.

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Although she followed her statement by saying that she couldn't reveal much more due to "legal reasons," Mistt ended the video by smugly intimating that she'd won the legal battle against Pepsi.

She was a little more direct in a February 2023 TikTok video, clearly stating that Pepsi tried to sue her and lost. In the video's description, she said that for legal reasons, "the conflict was amicably resolved."

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Pepsi remains tight-lipped over the Sierra Mist brouhaha.

Pepsi, who has also been named one of the world’s top corporate plastic polluters, has remained tight-lipped, choosing not to comment on the situation. This lack of official confirmation has only fueled the online fire, leaving room for numerous interpretations and theories.

Some speculate that the soda giant may be overreaching to protect its brand, while others question the validity of Mistt's claims, attributing her statements to mere online drama.

This Sierra Mist situation highlights the choppy waters of intellectual property rights.

This situation does raise some interesting questions about intellectual property rights and online branding. In the age of social media, where online personas and brand identities often overlap, it's crucial to establish clear boundaries and guidelines.

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Cans of Sierra Mist stacked on a store shelf
Source: Getty Images

Without official statements or transparency, it's difficult to determine the true nature of this apparent legal battle. The lack of clarity casts a shadow of doubt, leaving room for assumptions and misinformation.

As online communities continue to evolve, so too must our understanding of brand protection and individual rights within the digital realm. As for how this legal battle unfolds (if there even is one) and what precedents it may set for creators and corporations navigating the ever-changing landscape of online identity, only time will tell.

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Two rubber stamps: one with trademark and one with TM, lying next to some paper clips:
Source: iStock

Regardless of the outcome, this situation highlights the need for open communication, transparency, and a thoughtful approach to navigating the choppy waters of intellectual property in the digital age.

Whether or not this is even possible in the realm of clickbaity platforms like TikTok and YouTube remains to be seen. But one thing's for sure: the Sierra Mist lawsuit has captured the attention of online communities. Soda pop, anyone? I hear Starry is quite tasty.

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