Colleagues, Contacts, Collaborators.
I trust this note finds you well.
I’m writing to make you aware of (if you’re not already) an absurd decision taken by a regulatory body to ban an advert -a story which continues to garner much needed media attention: SodaStream vs. Clearcast (as it could be billed).
You can read the story so far…
- Here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/calebmelby/2012/11/27/uk-pulls-sodastream-ad-for-denigration-of-the-bottled-drinks-market/
- Here: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/11/27/clearcast-claims-sodastream-didnt-allows-enough-clearance-time-it-defends-last
- Here: http://adage.com/article/news/sodastream-campaign-alex-bogusky-yanked-u-k/238469/
- And here: http://www.brandrepublic.com/bulletin/brandrepublicnewsbulletin/article/1162284/sodastream-hits-back-clearcast-ad-ban
So, my fine people, you’ll surely be thinking. ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s only a frickin’ ad that’s been pulled. No-one’s died and there are bigger, better causes to support.‘ True dat. Many may argue ‘Dem’s the rules’ or ‘They shoulda known’. Well, maybe. However, the ad went ahead and ran in the US, Australia and Sweden, but here in the UK it was banned for ‘denigrating the bottled drinks category’. Now if like me, you’re of the opinion that the bottled drinks category has been quite adept at denigrating itself without any help whatsoever, you’ll appreciate the irony. Even if you disagree with me, surely you’ll admit a wonky precedent has been set for future campaigns?
Whatever your stance, you cannot ignore that there’s an issue at the heart of this brouhaha that’s larger than me (which is pretty big), in fact it’s larger than all of us. I believe in freedom of speech, of expression and competition. These simple liberties we take for granted are being denigrated – not the bottled drinks category. This I cannot ignore.
My intention is straightforward enough – to generate interest and illustrate that adherence to banal protocol is the problem, not actual or perceived brand bashing.
To highlight the problem my aim is to get Clearcast’s decision overturned. But how? Well, the first step is to demonstrate broad support. You can help do this simply by displaying #SavetheStream in your social media messages. Or indeed by posting it anywhere you want to. Go crazy. Get creative.
But why – what’s in it for you?
Journalists: I appreciate showing any bias is tricky. But it’s your duty to report what’s going on and the wider story is getting significant coverage. If you there could be a nugget of interest within these admittedly lengthy protestations, I implore you, please craft a story. I’m more than happy to file a press release or comment. Please feel free to publish this letter in its entirety.
Ad/Marketing/PR people: You owe it to your creative brethren to make a stand, and use your powers of persuasion to encourage others to follow suit.
Entrepreneurs: You must appreciate, more than anyone else, the challenge of getting heard above the competition. You might not have much sympathy for SodaStream, but imagine the shoe was on your foot, and your efforts to illustrate the benefits of your products or services were thwarted to protect the interests of a much larger rival…
To everyone else, my apologies for not listing your sector. All I ask is, if you agree with what I’m saying, please do the necessary…
Any questions, queries, allegations of sycophancy, defamation or other will be welcomed with open arms.
My best regards
P.S. Just so you know, I’ve absolutely no vested interest in this whatsoever. Not being paid (alas) to promote SodaStream or, dare I say it, denigrate official bodies like Clearcast. I’m just a lowly copywriter doing what I can to perpetuate a simple message.