Profile: Jeremy Gilley

The man marketing world peace

SodaStream forced to pull 'denigrating' ad

SodaStream was forced to pull a television advertisement hours before it was scheduled to break after the body that clears spots for air slammed it as “denigrating” to the soft drinks market.


Broadcast clearance body ClearCast ruled the ad, which claimed consumers could save up to 2,000 plastic bottles every year by using SodaStream to make soft drinks from tap water at home, was not fit to air. The decision came yesterday afternoon (22 November) ahead of its scheduled debut during ITV1’s “I’m a Celebrity” last night.

In a statement ClearCast says: “The majority [at ClearCast] decided that the ad could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks, instead help to save the environment by buying a SodaStream. 

“We thought it was denigration of the bottled drinks market.”

The ad, part of an £11m global campaign , has already run in the United States, Sweden and Australia.

SodaStream's ad has aired in the US but is not allowed to air in the UK.

Fiona Hope, SodaStream UK’s managing director, called the decision “absurd”.

“We have neither named nor disparaged any of our competitors in the industry and cannot see how this makes any sense, she says, adding that the company “push to reverse this decision.”

Talking to Marketing Week ahead of the launch, Fiona Hope, UK MD of SodaStream said the existing soft drinks industry model is “not fit for the 21st century”, adding “they [soft drinks manufactures] all talk about how much recycling they do but to us recycling is overrated and the world could live with an awful lot less plastic in the first place.”

Readers' comments (14)

  • yes that's what's wrong with the world - too much recycling

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  • Those look like competitor bottle in the ad to me, so not sure why is saying she is not naming competitors. I don't think we should say recycling is bad. That's one of the few consumer actions which has so far gained any traction.

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  • Recycling is not overrated. The issue is not enough recycling!
    SodaStream has a role to play, but we should not stop all consumption models, there would be no economy, no jobs, and social meltdown.

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  • Wow. What an absurd decision.

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  • Oh dear, especially considering the PR push just a few days before. Regardless of who is right or wrong, SodaStream have been left with egg on their face.

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  • Poor decision by ClearCast.. The job of a copy clearance house is to check that ad content is Legal, Honest, Decent and True rather than ban ads that make factual comparative claims. Whoever said this ad would lead to ''no economy, no jobs, and social meltdown'' - specious nonsense!

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  • Letsrecycle more - had a look at the advert zoomed in -- and they look like just generic bottles popping can't read the labels.. Even if you could the message is stil valid!

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  • I really can't see how they can argue this attacks competitor products, that's like saying a cycle company cannot mention that their product is more environmentally friendly than cars.

    A ludicrous and wrong decision

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  • I doubt that if this ad had been aired it would result in a mass shift in people's consumption. Convenience is still an appealing concept for many and preferred over having to use a Soda Stream every day. Ludicrous decision and not one that can be a precedent otherwise competitive messages are being banned generally. I hope the appeal is successful.

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  • How do those ads that compare supermarket prices on individial products get through?

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