SodaStream Blows Up in the U.K.

SodaStream's (Nasdaq: SODA  ) new ad is apparently too much across the pond.

The beverage system maker's first global television commercial -- where an environmental message is pitched by exploding hundreds of plastic soda bottles whenever a SodaStream is activated -- was pulled before making its debut last week.

According to trade periodical Advertising Age, "authorities deemed the ad disparaging to big sodamakers such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola."

Really?

The ads had no problem being introduced in the U.S. earlier this month. They have also been airing in Sweden -- where SodaStream has 25% market penetration -- and Australia without incident. What would make Clearcast, the private U.K. regulatory body funded by the country's commercial broadcasters, block the ad? It should also be pointed out that the ad was set to air during I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. The reality show isn't exactly the pinnacle of fine British programming.

Perhaps more importantly, Clearcast's ban will only help SodaStream. Conspiracy theorists will argue that Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) -- armed with much larger marketing budgets -- are trying to silence the environmental flaw in the countless bottles and cans that Coke and Pepsi send off to landfills every year.

The ad will attract attention. The message may grow louder than anything that SodaStream could amplify if the commercial actually ran in the U.K. this season.

As SodaStream continues to milk the spot's message in different countries, it has birthed the opportunity for free publicity. The next step may very well be a consumer backlash against Coca-Cola and PepsiCo as bullies, even if they didn't have anything directly to do with the decision.

SodaStream will find a way to milk this news in a way that can erupt with greater force than the bottles in the commercial itself.

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  • Report this Comment On November 27, 2012, at 2:14 PM, MichiganJeff wrote:

    I'm not quite sure why people buy SodaStream (the product). The price of their 2-liter bottle of pop (I'm from the Midwest, we don't call it soda) is no better than the typical price of Coke or Pepsi and is often worse when you consider that Coke and Pepsi go on sale and SodaStream doesn't. And that's before you factor in the $80+ that you spend on the machine. I can almost see it from the environmental standpoint, but living in Michigan, I have have to return all my cans and bottles for refunds of the $.10 deposit I pay anyway, so minimal benefit there as well. <shrug> I'll keep an eye on their pricing but I'm not convinced, yet.

  • Report this Comment On November 28, 2012, at 10:41 AM, pondee619 wrote:

    "the environmental flaw in the countless bottles and cans that Coke and Pepsi send off to landfills every year."

    This shame falls not on Coke or Pepsi but the non-recycling public. All plastic bottles and aluminum cans can/should/must be recycled. There should be no environmental issue, as all bottles and cans are recycled.

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