The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is taking Eco Canteen, a manufacturer of stainless steel beverage containers, to court in the US, after its TV advertising campaign allegedly made “false and misleading” claims about bottled water.
IBWA spokesperson Tom Lauria told FoodProductionDaily.com: “These ads have been running for several months are offensive because they are not truthful. They take facts about bottled water and mangle them in a way that worries the public.”
Joe Doss, the association’s president and CEO said: “IBWA’s complaint points out that Eco Canteen's ads are false, misleading, and disparaging of bottled water products. We welcome the use of accurate information to inform consumers. But Eco Canteen should not be allowed to engage in the use of deliberate distortions of fact so as to seriously mislead consumers."
Nationwide TV adverts
The IBWA has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina after Eco Canteen broadcast nationwide TV adverts almost 1,000 times .
The complaint alleges that the association became aware in early April 2009 that Eco Canteen was making “false and misleading statements in television advertisements airing nationally and appearing on numerous websites and in promotional videos presented on its own websites.”
It suit also alleges that the campaign: “…appears to be viral. Once released the advertisements are intended to be picked up and disseminated by third parties over whom Eco Canteen has no control….”
The association’s lawsuit focuses on what it describes as false allegations that plastic bottled water products constitute a safety and health risk to the public.
It specially objects to a number of statements it says appear in the adverts such as: “Some (plastic bottles) even release synthetic estrogen, linked to breast and prostrate cancer.” And what it describes as the false allegation that: “Plastic water bottles could be poisoning you and your family.”
The legal action seeks an injunction from the court to prevent the continued broadcast or publication of Eco Canteen’s adverts and from engaging in practices that would “…injure the business reputation and goodwill of IBWA or its members.”
It also demands that the company undertakes a new advertising campaign to correct the allegedly false statements of its original campaign.
No one was available from Eco Canteen to comment on the legal action against the company.