Coke/Dasani Earth Day Scam?

Coke/Dasani Earth Day Scam?

Today I received an email from Corporate Accountability International.  Spam?  Yes.  Interesting?  Yes.  Not sure what prompted me to open this bit of junk mail as I’m pretty sure I’ve never signed up, visited, or even heard of this company, but it looked legit and mentioned Earth Day in the subject line, which I had just been discussing with a coworker.

What kept me reading though, was the first line; “As you may know, for more than 15 Earth Days, Coke has bottled water from the tap, packaged it as Dasani and made no mention of where the water comes from on its labels.”

What?!  Is that true?  If so, this is the first I’m hearing of it.

I find this extremely ironic as I was just at a trade show with a client who was disinclined to drink the complimentary Dasani water, not because he knew it was actually tap water, but because of the taste.  He actually said to me, “it tastes no better than glorified tap water.”  So if people are unaware that Coke is pulling this stunt, even if for a good Earth Day cause, perhaps it will taint their reputation for good taste (literally).

I’ve heard of people holding on to expensive liquor bottles and then refilling them with cheaper versions to make guests think they’re more well off or pulling out all the stops, but to see the same stunt without any degree of transparency from a trusted brand caught me off guard.

The email said that even Congress has asked Coke to disclose the source of its water, but no change has been made.  So, what’s their call to action?  Corporate Accountability International is asking people to visit OpenTappiness.org to create your own marketing slogan for Dasani and to share it with Coke on Facebook or by email.  For the last year, Coke’s advertising has encouraged people to “Open Happiness,” hence the name “Open Tappiness.”

So, Marketing experts, whether you agree with Coke’s approach to Earth Day or not, do any catchy slogans that disclose the water’s source spring to mind?

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Amendment: I got a very nice phone call from Randall Smith of Corporate Accountability International reminding me of when I had signed up for their emails and for what initiative (Think Outside the Bottle). He was very concerned that I thought they were spamming me and I appreciate his thoroughness and sincerity. Also, as a side note, though I had not remembered signing up for Think Outside the Bottle, after reading the email, I did not unsubscribe as I thought it was quite a worthwhile cause!

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