SodaStream drops judicial review into Clearcast ban due to huge costs
SodaStream has announced it will not venture into a judicial review over its banned 30” SodaStream Effect ad due to the huge costs involved and the protracted nature of the process.
“It is with deep regret that we have decided to close the door on further challenge to this ridiculous assessment by Clearcast. Despite having specialist legal advice that we have extremely strong grounds for progressing with this dispute via judicial review, we simply do not have the deep pockets enjoyed by other soda giants,” commented Fiona Hope, UK managing director for SodaStream.
The conclusion was reached as Clearcast stated it would be upholding its position against the ad claiming that the spot inferred that by using a SodaStream the bottled soft drinks market was effectively “destroyed or blown away”. Clearcast’s review also states that the “dark lighting” and “mischievous looks” on the faces of the actors encourages the disparagement of other brands in the industry.
The £11 million global ad campaign was banned from transmission in the UK in November 2012, as Clearcast branded it as a ‘denigration of the soft drinks industry’. The ban was upheld following an appeal, even though the advertisement was cleared and show in a number of other markets across the globe and even in the US as a Super Bowl advert.
Hope added: “We stand by our statement that there is absolutely nothing disparaging in our original campaign as we do not mention or show competitor brands in this spot. Our mission is to impact positive and very much needed change within the soft drinks category.”
An interim ad entitled “Bubble Blackout” was aired in place of the original advertisement as SodaSteam awaited the final decision from Clearcast. The ad directed viewers to the original ad spot on YouTube, which has since racked up over 2.6 million hits.
“With Climate Week upon us, it is sad that we are unable to use TV to deliver our powerful message about reducing waste and creating a more sustainable future. We will look for alternative mediums and continue to create truly innovative products and ‘better for you’ beverage alternatives to allow families and households to live in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way,” said Hope.