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July 27, 2009

Tappening project takes on the truthiness of bottled-water ads

Posted on Mon Jul 27 2009

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Advertising may contain trace amounts of the truth, but it's often based on bald-faced lies, a fact that keeps the NAD and FTC very busy these days. Taking an if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em approach, the pro-tap-water campaign called Tappening is dealing with truth-stretching marketing by bottled-water companies (such as the claim that their water comes from mountain streams rather than a municipal tap) with even more outrageous falsehoods about the stuff. For instance, did you know that most bottled water is 98 percent melted ice caps and 2 percent polar bear tears? Did you hear the one about how bottled water makes acid rain fall on playgrounds? You might have, if you live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami or Las Vegas, where Tappening is spending $535,000 (an unusually specific amount) on wild postings. You can also go to startalie.com to spread your own untruths. (Sample: "Bottled water denied the Holocaust.") The ads, which clearly state that their claims are lies, are meant to educate rather than spread damaging rumors, says Tappening partner Eric Yaverbaum. "As far as bottled water goes, if it doesn't say the source of the water, then the stock answer of 'Everybody knows [the water comes from a tap]' just doesn't cut it."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

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