Before Super Bowl Sunday, buzz on the street was that the at-home carbonation product Sodastream super bowl ad was to be pulled from airing by CBS because it was too disparaging towards Sodastream rivals Coca Cola and Pepsi, two of CBS’ biggest sponsors.
Banning an ad for criticizing the competition? Sounds counter-intuitive to our economy’s free-market approach which thrives on business competition. That’s why some advertising industry professionals are up in arms about the Sodastream ad being pulled; the media’s role is not to choose sides.
But as we’ve all seen time and again, the media is far from unbiased.
Global Exchange says there is reason to be critical of Sodastream, but not because of the company’s marketing. Here’s why:
There is one very solid reason to pull Sodastream ads, and it has nothing to do with market competition. The Sodastream company is housed in an illegal Israeli settlement on the West Bank. As Rae Abileah, co-director of Code Pink and co-founder of the organization Young Jewish and Proud explained in a recent article about Sodastream, “by manufacturing in occupied territory, they’re violating international law and human rights.”
Super Bowl XLVII has come and gone and Sodastream ended up modifying its ad which did run during the Super Bowl. During the December holidays the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeted retailers to stop selling Sodastream products which attracted mainstream media attention surrounding its manufacturing violations in the West Bank. The boycott continues.
Hmm, perhaps raising the company’s visibility via a Super Bowl ad was not such a great idea after all.
TAKE ACTION! Tell your local retailer to stop carrying SodaStream. You can find a store near you using Sodastream’s online tool.