Clearcast has defended its decision to ban SodaStream's new advert at the last minute,saying that the company “did not allow sufficient time” to clear the advert.
Clearcast banned “The SodaStream Effect’ ad the day before it was set to air that, explained that it “could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks, instead help to save the environment by buying a SodaStream.”
It later added: “We thought it was denigration of the bottled drinks market.”
Following Clearcast’s ruling, SodaStream’s UK managing director Fiona Hope described the decision as “absurd”.
Speaking to The Drum, a spokesperson for Clearcast explained the late decision, and said that for the advert to air, it would need to stand up the claims that SodaStream could save up to “a thousand bottles a year”.
Said the spokesperson: “Sodastream submitted an ad last week which we were unable to clear on denigration grounds. If they can address those concerns, they will also need to support claims made in the ad.”
They continued: “In the normal course of events there would be an on-going dialogue between Clearcast and the advertiser and in the vast majority of cases this results in a commercial that we approve for broadcast. The clearance process is generally an iterative process which often includes changes being made to copy to make it suitable for clearance and can also include escalation to Clearcast’s Copy Committee comprised of representatives from the Broadcasters which is the ultimate forum for appeals.
“In this particular case, Sodastream did not allow sufficient time for clearance of their ad for the airtime they had booked. In their press statement this was translated to us pulling the ad at the eleventh hour.
“Our normal processes remain open to them and we will work with them to try and get an ad to air,” they added before stating that the organisation was unable to comment any further.
The campaign has already aired in other markets including America, Australia and Sweden, with a global spend of £11 million. The creative is part of an integrated marketing campaign that aims to take market share from beverage giants.