From the Wires
SodaStream Expands Controversial UK-Banned Ad into 59 Countries
Following rejection of appeal, SodaStream challenges UK broadcasters ban and calls for consumers to voice their opinion
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 11, 2012 04:01 AM
AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, the UK-banned SodaStream commercial will be seen on Eurosport, which airs in 59 countries across the globe. This is in addition to the countries where it is viewable on other channels in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Since the ban was announced on Nov 22nd, the spot has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube (Youtube.com/SodaStream).
The ad, which was approved to air during the Super Bowl in the US on February 3rd but has been banned in the UK, shows different scenes of soft drink bottles disappearing instantaneously as people use SodaStream, and delivers a powerful message about waste and sustainability. Clearcast, the organization that pre-approves UK TV advertising and is jointly funded by the UK's major broadcasters, offered the following reasoning for the original ban: "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." Upon hearing SodaStream's appeal on Dec 3rd, the 'Copy Committee,' which includes senior representatives from the broadcasters' sales departments, upheld the ban.
"The UK is the only country in the world where the ad was banned," stated Ilan Nacasch, CMO of SodaStream. "We hope UK broadcasters will finally understand there is nothing denigrating in this advertising, except exposing a truth that might make certain companies uncomfortable."
Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, added: "This decision is totally absurd. Instead of banning the advertising of bottled beverages for devastating the environment, the UK broadcasters banned our ad. By doing so, they chose to protect the beverage industry that spends £39 million annually on TV ads."
SodaStream International Ltd. also announced that in response to the final ruling from UK broadcasters denying the Company's appeal, it is taking the story to the streets, bringing the debate to public opinion in order to show Clearcast that its decision should be reversed.
"We want our message to be heard, and will not be intimidated by this tactic to silence us," notes Nacasch. "We will defend our freedom of expression and are calling for participation from the public. We believe consumers have the right to form their own opinion on the ad and judge if it needs to be banned or not. A voting poll is now available on GoPollGo ( http://gopollgo.com/should-sodastream-ad-be-banned-in-the-uk )."
This poll comes in addition to a print ad that was placed by SodaStream in major UK newspapers on Dec 6th to call the public to voice their opinion (http://sodastream.co.uk/censoredprintad). "We're also waiting to hear the response of the UK Minister for Culture & Communications and the UK Secretary of State for Environment to the letters we sent them regarding the broadcasters' decision," Nacasch added.
According to Euromonitor there are 629 billion bottles and cans manufactured every year. "With global recycling rates estimated to be less than 30% for bottles, more than 1 billion of those bottles and cans are dumped as waste across parks, oceans and landfills every single day," concludes Birnbaum. "Our ad confronts the beverage industry and its arguably outdated business model by showing people that there exists a smarter way to enjoy soft drinks."
To download SodaStream's investor relations app, which offers access to SEC documents, press releases, videos, audiocasts and more, please visit http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/soda-ir/id524423001?mt=8 for your iPhone/iPad, or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.theirapp.soda for your Android mobile device.
Forward Looking Statements
 Euromonitor- Packaging- Beverages 2012
SOURCE SodaStream International, Ltd.
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