SodaStream TV ad pulled over 'denigration' complaint
The 30-second ad was due to run during ITV1's I'm a Celebrity, but Clearcast - the body that pre-approves all UK TV advertising - blocked it following an objection from the drinks industry, The Guardian reports.
SodaStream has been told to revise and re-submit the advert, but the company has hit out at the "absurd" ruling and wants it reversed.
The advert bears a message about waste and sustainability, and features scenes of soft drink bottles bursting and disappearing as people use their SodaStream gadget. The closing line states: "With SodaStream you can save 1,000 bottles per year."
But Clearcast felt that the ad "could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks" as it would help the environment. It therefore felt that it was a "denigration of the bottled drinks market."
"Clearcast were unable to approve the recent SodaStream ad because in our view, its visual treatment denigrated other soft drinks which put it in breach of the BCAP code (rule 3.42)," said a spokeswoman for Clearcast, referring to the rule that states ads must not denigrate other products.
"Environmental issues were not relevant to that decision. In the event of the advertiser presenting us with amended copy we will work closely with them to agree an acceptable treatment."
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However, SodaStream UK's managing director Fiona Hope told The Guardian that the decision was "absurd".
"We have neither named nor disparaged any of our competitors in the industry and cannot see how this makes any sense," she said.
"Through the ad, we are simply displaying an alternative way to living more sustainably and illustrating one of our product's benefits - the reduction of plastic bottle wastage."
Hope said that consumers should be "allowed to make their own decisions about how to live their lives and the products to chose".
"This decision appears to put the sensitivities of the world's soft drinks giants ahead of concern for the environment," she added.
SodaStream wants Clearcast to reverse its decision and allow the original ad to air on television. The ad has already been broadcast in similar form in Australia, the US and Sweden.