For Immediate Release
Coke’s Failure to Label Dasani Irks Congress, Prompts Ad Campaign
Unveiling of “Open Tappiness” timed with annual shareholders’ meeting
ATLANTA - 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.
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“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
For information on the Congressional inquiry visit:
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
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