Following rejection of appeal, SodaStream challenges UK broadcasters ban and calls for consumers to voice their opinion
AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - 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."
SodaStream manufactures beverage carbonation systems which enable consumers to easily transform ordinary tap water instantly into carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water. Soda makers offer a highly differentiated and innovative solution to consumers of bottled and canned carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water. Our products are environmentally friendly, cost effective, promote health and wellness, and are customizable and fun to use. In addition, our products offer convenience by eliminating the need to carry bottles home from the supermarket, to store bottles at home or to regularly dispose of empty bottles. Our products are available at more than 60,000 retail stores in 45 countries around the world. For more information on SodaStream, please visit the Company's website: www.sodastream.com.
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.
Chief Corporate Development and Communications Officer
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include risks relating to: our ability to expand into our target markets, including the United States; our ability to continue to develop or maintain our presence in retail networks; our ability to develop and implement production and operating infrastructure to effectively support our growth; the success of our marketing campaigns and media spending in terms of increased sales or increased product and brand name awareness; our ability to maintain our customer base in markets where we have an established presence; the risks associated with our reliance on exclusive arrangements for the distribution of our beverage carbonation systems and consumables in each of the markets in which we use third-party distributors; our ability to compete effectively with other companies which currently offer, or may offer in the future, competing products; potential product liability claims if any component of our beverage carbonation systems is misused; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; our being found to have a dominant position in certain markets which may place limits on our ability to operate; risks associated with our being a multinational corporation, including fluctuations in currency exchange rates; our potential exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities; our products being subject to extensive governmental regulation in the markets in which we operate; adverse conditions in the global economy which could negatively impact our customers' demand for our products; and other factors detailed in documents we file from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 Euromonitor- Packaging- Beverages 2012
SOURCE: SodaStream International, Ltd.