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Sodastream and the trouble with green marketing

6th February 2013
The banning of a TV ad depicting the bottle savings that could be made by switching to Sodastream is not good for the environment or innovators that are challenging the big brands, says Giles Robertson, director and founder of Green Banana Marketing.
Making green choices can be tough. I am reminded of this by Sodastream’s recent efforts. A brand many of you will remember from the 80s should have been back in your sitting rooms before Christmas, if its ad hadn’t been banned.

It’s hard enough to get people to make those green choices in the first place, and having your airtime pulled doesn’t help. Digging a bit deeper, one can feel the conspiracy; OK not quite 'Constant Gardener'....Clearcast, is the body that approves ads to-air and is funded by the big broadcasters in this country (themselves having the lion’s share of their advertising from the soft drinks industry).

Unfortunately, Clearcast has shot the planet in the foot this time by banning the ad for being 'denigratory’ to the soft drinks industry. Basically, the ad shows bottles disappearing each time the SodaStream is used and the bottle savings that could be made each year.

Where is the denigration? 

The Carbon Trust conducted its own analysis looking at SodaStream and verified that it is 75 per cent less greenhouse gas intensive than the production of generic colas sold in plastic (PET) bottles in the UK. It doesn’t show people in a Coke factory fiddling in the loo and then bottling their precious product.

And they can substantiate these claims. 340,000,000,000 bottles and cans remain unrecycled every year. And one bottle takes 450 years to decompose and it needs five times its volume in water to manufacture – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve seen the upset overnight that can be caused by a lack of transparency around products, with the ingredients of Tesco’s burgers.

Likewise plastic bottled drinks make-up a large proportion of our carbon footprint and are increasingly the main waste found on our beaches in the UK. So why not let the Sodastream ad run? Clearcast, it doesn’t look good for the creative industry, for the environment, or for innovator/challenger brands.

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Sodastream and the trouble with green marketing
Sodastream was banned for being 'denigratory' to the soft drinks industry
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