‘SodaStream’ Ad Pulled in UK (For Being Effective?)

If you’ve been watching TV in the US over the past several days, you may have seen this new ad for SodaStream, a device that allows bubble-lovers to create their own soft drinks at home, thereby saving both money and bottles.

Personally, we found the 30-second spot created by Alex Bogusky clever and visually appealing. Authorities in the UK pulled the commercial, however, citing their own opinion that it “could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks, [and] instead help to save the environment by buying a SodaStream”. This message, they determined, could be seen as “denigration of the bottled-drinks market”. Um…gee, a commercial that encourages customers to ditch the competition in favor of the product it’s pushing? Witchcraft!

OK…so what’s the problem?

Fiona Hope, SodaStream U.K. managing director, said: “This decision is absurd. We have neither named nor disparaged any of our competitors in the industry and cannot see how this makes any sense. 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. Consumers should be allowed to make their own decisions about how to live their lives and the products to choose. This decision appears to put the sensitivities of the world’s soft drinks giants ahead of concern for the environment.” Hope also said her company plans to continue fighting the decision and get their ad back on the air.

So what do you think, readers? Does this ad really disparage the likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (without technically or directly even mentioning or showing their products), or is it just doing its job effectively?