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Bottled Water: Is Truth in Advertising All Washed Up?

8/5/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: bottled water, green advertising

Bottled water is 98 percent melted ice caps and 2 percent polar bear tears. 

start a lie campaign
Find out more about bottled water at Image Courtesy Tappening. 

Well, perhaps not. But the folks at Tappening, a group dedicated to encouraging people to drink tap water and to raising awareness about the wastefulness and harm to the environment caused by bottled water, have started a new advertising campaign where the truth doesn’t matter too much. 

Tappening founders Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum, a pair of marketing veterans, are tired of the lies and hype propagated by the bottled water industry. So they’ve decided to fight fire with fire (or water with water) at their new campaign, Start A Lie. At the Start A Lie website, people can create their own lies about thebottled water industry and share them with their friends. The site already has hundreds of responses, including: 

• Bottled water causes bedwetting among adults.

• The major waste product of bottled water is dehydrated dolphins.

• Bottled water just stole my wallet.

• Bottled water destroys over 30,000 square miles of leprechaun habitat every day.

• Deemed to scary, bottled water was replaced by a shark in Jaws.

But is lying really the best solution in the fight against bottled water? “We’re not just admitting it upfront, we’re bragging about it. We want people to know we’re blatantly lying in our new campaign and, more importantly, that everyone should pay close attention to what’s factual in marketing and what’s not so much,” Yaverbaum says

The Start A Lie campaign will include postings in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas. There are also downloadable, viral ads online.

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