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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2010
11:53 AM

CONTACT: Corporate Accountability International

Christina Rossi, 617-306-0920
CRossi@StopCorporateAbuse.org
Nick Guroff, 617-784-4753
NGuroff@StopCorporateAbuse.org

Coke’s Failure to Label Dasani Irks Congress, Prompts Ad Campaign

Unveiling of “Open Tappiness” timed with annual shareholders’ meeting

ATLANTA - April 20 - The Coca-Cola Corporation is under renewed scrutiny at its annual shareholders’ meeting in Duluth this Wednesday. It is now the only major bottler yet to label the source of its bottled water. It has for the third year in a row scuttled a shareholder resolution calling for greater transparency in labeling. And in the last year, Congress has also called on the corporation to disclose the source of Dasani.

That’s why Atlanta residents can today expect to see a new ad campaign about town dubbed “Open Tappiness.”

“Coke’s PR shop has been so preoccupied with a range of greenwashing initiatives, that addressing the public’s concerns around transparency promises to again get short shrift this year,” said Kristin Urquiza, director of Corporate Accountability International’s Think Outside the Bottle campaign. “So we figured if the only way Coke is going to make the change is with some Madison Avenue muscle, we’ll just lend a hand and launch an ad campaign celebrating Dasani’s tap water origins for Coke to embrace free of charge.”

The initial campaign boasts a moving billboard and a website, www.OpenTappiness.org, that allows visitors to pitch the corporation their own slogans for a new Dasani label.

Corporate Accountability International has persuaded Pepsi and Nestlé to print “public water source” on their labels for Aquafina and Pure Life over the last three years, providing consumers with this essential information at the point of sale. Coke, on the other hand, has deflected the straightforward request, instead launching a range of marketing initiatives to green the image of a not-so-green product.   

Lawmakers have become increasingly concerned about the lack of labeling transparency, and the impact of bottled water marketing on public confidence in the tap. As confidence has waned, so too has the political will to adequately fund public water, leaving these systems with a $22 billion funding gap. Bottled water labels, ads, and promotional materials suggest that bottled water is somehow better than the tap, even though up to 40 percent of bottled water comes from the same source. Bottled water is also far less regulated.

“Leaving this information off the label isn’t only disingenuous, it makes it look as if Coke has something to hide,” said Urquiza. “We say, ‘what’s the use in waiting for an act of Congress if Coke can Open Tappiness today?’”

For information on the Congressional inquiry visit:
http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/government-bottled-water-study-call-im...
http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/release-most-bottled-water-brands-don%...
For a new short video on social and environmental impacts of water bottling visit: www.stopcorporateabuse.org/story-of-bottled-water

For details on the Coca-Cola shareholder resolution that Corporate Accountability International developed this year in partnership with several socially responsible investors, and which was challenged by Coca-Cola and allowed to be excluded by the SEC, visit: www.stopcorporateabuse.org/2010cokeresolution

Click here to listen to the Open Tappiness jingle!

 

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Corporate Accountability International has been waging winning campaigns to challenge corporate abuse for more than 30 years. We were there at the beginning of this movement to demand direct corporate accountability to public interests and have been at its forefront ever since.


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