SodaStream hits back at Clearcast ad ban

SodaStream is launching a protest TV ad in response to a decision by Clearcast to ban its £11m campaign, two hours before debuting last week.

The new ad features a black screen, with the words: "If you love the bubbles set them free". The end frame then directs viewers to YouTube, where the banned ad can still be seen.

The 30-second TV ad will appear tonight during ITV1's 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'

Only hours before its planned launch last week, Clearcast ruled that the original "SodaStream effect" ad, created by Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham at Common Agency, could not go out due to "denigration of the bottled drinks market".

The creative featured batches of unidentified soft drinks in plastic bottles spontaneously self combusting every time someone used a SodaStream. The voiceover then stated, "With SodaStream you can save 1,000 bottles a year".

Fiona Hope, SodaStream UK managing director, said the decision to ban the global ad was ridiculous. "We would still like to allow UK viewers the chance to see our advert that has been aired across many other countries. We’re inviting them to see the real advert on YouTube and decide for themselves whether a ban is justified."

Hope added that 35 million bottles are discarded in the UK every day, but only 45% are recycled. "In this day and age it makes no sense to hold back the truth from consumers, even if that truth isn’t comfortable to some of us."

Although the same campaign had aired in the US, Australia and Sweden, Clearcast said in a statement: "The majority decided that the ad could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks, instead to help save the environment by buying a SodaStream. We thought it was denigration of the bottled drinks market".

A final decision as to whether the ad can be aired will be made on 3 December.

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