SodaStream ‘regretfully’ backs down over ‘disparaging’ ad

SodaStream says it will not fight an advertising body’s decision to ban one of its ads “despite having extremely strong grounds” to do so.

SodaStream 'regretfully' backs down over 'disparaging' ad

The supplier of fizzy drinks makers has decided not to venture into a judicial review because of the huge costs involved and the protracted nature of the process.

The 30-second television ad shows scenes of soft drink bottles disappearing instantaneously as people use the SodaStream soda maker, delivering a message about waste and sustainability. It closes with the line: “With SodaStream you can save 1,000 bottles per year.”

However, the ad, which was initially due for transmission during November last year, was banned in the UK by advertising services organisation Clearcast for being a “denigration of the soft drinks industry”.

Clearcast thought the ad implied that by using a SodaStream the bottled soda competition was effectively “destroyed or blown away”, and pointed to the “dark lighting” and “the mischievous looks” on the faces of the actors as encouraging the disparagment of other brands within the industry.

Following an official appeal the ban was upheld. The advertisement was, though, cleared and shown in many other markets across the globe, including Australia, Sweden and the United States. And it was uploaded to the official SodaStream You Tube channel and has since achieved 2.6m hits.

SodaStream UK managing director Fiona Hope said:
“It is with deep regret that we have decided to close the door on further challenge to this ridiculous assessment by Clearcast. Despite having specialist legal advice that we have extremely strong grounds for progressing with this dispute via judicial review, we simply do not have the deep pockets enjoyed by other soda giants.

“We stand by our statement that there is absolutely nothing disparaging in our original campaign as we do not mention or show competitor brands in this spot. Our mission is to impact positive and very much-needed change within the soft drinks category.

“With 35m bottles being used every day in the UK and only around 26% being recycled, I’m sure people would like to know there is a brilliant alternative to choking the planet with plastic.”

She went on: “With Climate Week upon us [March 4 to 10], it’s sad that we’re unable to use TV to deliver our powerful message about reducing waste and creating a more sustainable future.”

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