I recently wrote about an attack campaign against bottled water that used slogans like "Bottled Water: 98% melted ice caps, 2% polar bear tears." The statements were obviously false, but in the fine print of every ad were the words, "If bottled water companies can lie, we can too."
I have since been alerted to two other campaigns against bottled water -- which has faced not only increased criticism from environmentalist groups, but also questions from congress over the fact that bottled water is less heavily regulated than water from the tap.
A New York company has been bottling local tap water and selling it, openly and proudly. But first and foremost, Tap'd NY encourages people to drink from the tap whenever possible, and to buy its product only "when tap isn't convenient." The company describes its product as "the anti-bottled-water bottled water." (h/t U.S. Food Policy)
And the Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department is launching a new advertising campaign promoting local tap water. An earlier campaign earned threats of legal action from Nestle Waters North America. The campaign included radio spots with statements like, "Bottled water is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Tap water is. That's why you always can be sure Miami-Dade tap water is superior. Stop wasting your money!"
Nestle Waters called such statements "false and misleading," but of course, such lack of regulation was precisely the subject of a recent hearing by a House subcommittee.
Regardless, the new campaign is apparently focusing more on singing the benefits of tap water and less on explicitly attacking the bottled water industry.
But the attack is still implied. And when you throw in the economic pressures against bottled water, I'd say it's not the best industry to go into right now.