The Bottled Water Industry Strikes Back
You knew they weren't going to just take it lying down. Following a series of highly publicized setbacks — including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's banning of the bottle and PepsiCo's "relabeling" of its Aquafina bottled water — the bottled water industry, led by the International Bottled Water Association, has decided to fight back by taking two full-page ads out of The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
This marks the first time since 1999 that the bottled water industry has waged such a high-profile ad campaign. In an attempt to recast the debate — shifting the focus from drinking bottled vs. tap water to promoting the health benefits of drinking water — Joe Doss, the CEO of IBWA, argues that "It's not a bottled water vs. tap water issue. Water is a very healthy drink that shouldn't be discouraged." In addition to pledging its support for tougher recycling laws, the IBWA seeks to bolster its green image in the new ad by emphasizing its recent efforts to make its bottles thinner and fully recyclable. Coming at a time when consumers are finally beginning to ask more questions about the need to buy bottled water (and what's actually inside the bottle), this latest ad campaign by the IBWA seems like a defensive ploy more than anything else. We need not restate our reasons for opposing bottled water here (you've probably already gotten your fill of that); let's just say we agree with environmental and consumer groups that say it isn't necessary.
While it's certainly entitled to defend its business, the IBWA's arguments aren't exactly convincing — it remains to be seen whether their reframing of the debate aids their cause — and, at best, constitute a defense of drinking water more so than drinking bottled water.
Via ::The Mercury News: Water bottlers defend their reputation with full-page ads (newspaper), ::Newsweek: Green Water (news website)