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SODASTREAM CEO: Bottled water is the 'biggest advertising and marketing scam ever'

·Former Correspondent

Shares of home carbonated beverage maker SodaStream (SODA) have been on a tear since January, with shares up more than 130% since the beginning of the year.

The company has recently been at war with the bottled water industry.

Last month, SodaStream launched a new video campaign called “Shame or Glory,” which features stars from the hit TV show “Game of Thrones.”

“Basically it’s a walk of shame, only it’s about plastic bottles because the plastic bottles are indeed very shameful to the planet where we’re using so many of them and they that they just become trash in the oceans and in parks and whatnot it’s a disaster. It’s a major hazard to humanity and to our planet,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told Yahoo Finance in the video above.

Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream REUTERS/Ammar Awad

So far, the ad has garnered more than 50 million views, but some in the bottled-water industry aren’t pleased.

According to Birnbaum, SodaStream has received six cease-and-desist letters, including ones from Denis Cans, the CEO of Nestlé Waters, France, and the US-based International Bottled Water Association.

“Of course we will not comply because there’s nothing false or misleading or defaming in that ad. It’s the simple truth but it’s very inconvenient for these folks who are making a ton of money.”

Birnbaum contends that bottled water companies are making money off water that’s “really public water.”

“Why most of the bottled water by the way half of the bottled water in America is from municipal sources put in a nice package glorified with a beautiful name as if it’s coming from Italy or somewhere with a very high ticket and that’s misleading consumers.”

He went on to call the bottled water industry the “biggest advertising and marketing scam ever in history.”

“This whole bottled water industry—it should not exist and I think that in ten or twenty years it will be it won’t exist or it’ll have major warning labels like cigarettes do today.”

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.

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