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53958.  Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:39 am Reply with quote

Dasani was the name under which the Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain sold tap water. I think the popular notion was that they were simply putting tap water into bottles and selling it, but actually they 'enhanced' it chemically in such a way as to produce carcinogenic bromates, which is why they had to recall it.

53980.  Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:41 am Reply with quote

They still have a website at It describes the product thus:
Cool, vibrant, refreshingly clear. Dasani is purified water enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste. As basic as breathing, Dasani quenches your thirst simply and deliciously. It's that simple, and it's ... well ... that simple.

Bottled tap water withdrawn after cancer scare

Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent
Saturday March 20, 2004
The Guardian

First, Coca-Cola's new brand of "pure" bottled water, Dasani, was revealed earlier this month to be tap water taken from the mains. Then it emerged that what the firm described as its "highly sophisticated purification process", based on Nasa spacecraft technology, was in fact reverse osmosis used in many modest domestic water purification units.
Yesterday, just when executives in charge of a £7m marketing push for the product must have felt it could get no worse, it did precisely that.

The entire UK supply of Dasani was pulled off the shelves because it has been contaminated with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.

So now the full scale of Coke's PR disaster is clear. It goes something like this: take Thames Water from the tap in your factory in Sidcup, Kent; put it through a purification process, call it "pure" and give it a mark-up from 0.03p to 95p per half litre; in the process, add a batch of calcium chloride, containing bromide, for "taste profile"; then pump ozone through it, oxidising the bromide - which is not a problem - into bromate - which is. Finally, dispatch to the shops bottles of water containing up to twice the legal limit for bromate (10 micrograms per litre). ...

Coca-Cola said it was voluntarily withdrawing all Dasani "to ensure that only products of the highest quality are provided to our consumers".,3604,1174127,00.html

53981.  Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:45 am Reply with quote

LONDON - It made for great headlines, but the fact that the UK version of Coca-Cola's Dasani brand bottled water comes out of the London public supply should hardly have come as a surprise.

"Coke's in hot water," "Eau dear" and "The real sting" were three good examples of the newspaper headline writer's art, but the only real difference between Dasani and many other bottled waters is that the humble origin of the product is firmly in the spotlight.

Figures from independent beverage research company Canadean show that at least two out of every five bottles of water sold around the world are, like Dasani, "purified" waters, rather than "source" waters which originate from a spring.

Most of the supermarket own-label bottled waters consist of treated mains water. They may be dechlorinated, filtered further, purified using ultraviolet light and have minerals either added or subtracted. They may also be carbonated.

In short, they are subjected to many of the same treatments that source waters undergo to satisfy public health requirements after being pumped up from the ground.

Alongside flagship brands such as Evian, Perrier, and Malvern, most of the big-name water producers market several purified water lines, often in countries where the safety of the public water supply is a concern.

Nestle's Pure Life is one such leading brand and PepsiCo's Aquafina is another, while Danone's Sparkletts and Alhambra marques are top sellers in the United States, where mains water purity is not usually an issue. ...

The origin of UK Dasani (it's produced all around the world but is always purified rather than source water) came to light when a complaint was made to the British Food Standards Agency over Coke's use of the word "pure" in its Dasani marketing.

The complaint, now being dealt with by the local authorities where Dasani is bottled in Sidcup, east London, hinges on the charge that the marketing implies that tap water is 'impure'. ...

Coca-Cola's seven million pound marketing drive for Dasani has taken a savage hit, but the success of the brand in other countries, such as the United States where it is the number two seller, suggests it isn't about to go away.

53984.  Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:01 am Reply with quote

Links to drinking and to Mat's thing about how much water you need or don't need to drink every day(post 51379).

60582.  Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:49 pm Reply with quote

154 billion litres of bottled water are consumed per year worldwide. In some parts of the world this is because it's the only way to get safe water, but in the US and Europe the reasons are to do with taste, fashion and perceived marginal health benefits - the regulations governing the quality of tap water are actually more stringent than those for bottled.

Some 40% of bottled water is treated tap water, sometimes with added minerals which can be actively unhealthy if consumed to excess. The French senate advises people to change brands frequently in order to avoid overdosing.

Bottled water can cost more than petrol (San Pellegrino is £1.16 per litre), and most of its cost is transport-related. 25% of all bottled water crosses a national border to reach its market; eg a report by the Earth Policy Institute cites a company in Helsinki that shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water to Saudi Arabia in 2004. 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year. The US market alone requires enough bottles to consume 1.5 million barrels of oil annually. Most of these end up in landfills; the ones that don't get sent to China for recycling, incurring another transport cost.

The report concludes that a fraction of the $100 bn spent annually on bottled water would pay for a global programme to provide safe tap water.

60583.  Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:55 pm Reply with quote

EU Water Regulations (1999) define three grades of bottled water:

Table Water can come from multiple sources, which may include tap water.

Spring Water must come from a single non-polluted groundwater source; it doesn't have to undergo a formal recognition process, though it must register. Specified treatments are allowed.

Natural Mineral Water cannot undergo treatment and must be formally recognised.

60586.  Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:02 pm Reply with quote

Sorry to bang on, but I think this subject fulfils our QI brief. At the time of the Dasani news story people were clearly surprised to hear that bottled water was coming from the taps, and if publicity was given to the fact that this was the case for many different brands, it passed me by. Any reason why we shouldn't be adopting a bit of attitude?

We always give panellists little bottles of water during the show. Why not take the label off and ask them:

Q: That's a national brand of table water you have there. Where does it come from?

A: The tap.

60622.  Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:26 am Reply with quote

There was some publicity at one time that stated that London's tap water was more 'pure' than most mineral waters you could buy, so good is their treatment process.

Could we have some fun with the process that astronauts have to drink their own urine? Imagine being the first to test out that filtering system... "Mmmm, still a bit tangy."

According to NASA, they drink each others' breath as well. All the lab animals contribute too. Even the fuel cells make water as they combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity.

Also, as everyone knows:
Alan Shepard's first 15-minute suborbital flight was so short that no one thought to install a urine receptacle in his space suit. At T-minus 15 minutes, an electrical problem caused an 86-minute delay on the launchpad. Shepard's bladder soon reached the bursting point, and he radioed the first-ever "Houston, we have a problem" message. After some deliberation, mission control had an answer: "Do it in the suit."

Which he did.

63028.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:55 am Reply with quote

This from Scientific American, admittedly about US bottled water brands:

bottled water is subject to less rigorous purity standards and less frequent tests for bacteria and chemical contaminants than those required of tap water. For example, bottled-water plants must test for coliform bacteria once a week; city tap water must be tested 100 or more times a month.

The most telling taste test was conducted by the Showtime television series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The hosts began with a blind comparison in which 75 percent of New Yorkers preferred city tap to bottled waters. They then went to the Left Coast and set up a hidden camera at a trendy southern California restaurant that featured a water sommelier who dispensed elegant water menus to the patrons.

All bottles were filled out of the same hose in the back of the restaurant; nevertheless, Angelenos were willing to plunk down nearly $7 a bottle for L'eau Du Robinet (French for "[tap] water"), Agua de Culo (Spanish for "ass water") and Amazone ("filtered through the Brazilian rain forest's natural filtration system"), declaring them all to be far superior to tap water.

63549.  Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:40 am Reply with quote

According to an Indian commentator on Test Match Special (3 April 06, Radio 4) beer cannot be advertised in India; hence, Kingfisher, the nationís biggest brewery, has a brand of mineral water, called Kingfisher, which it advertises vigorously - at the moment, with enormous billboards of Freddie Flintoff, that well-known water connoisseur.

Quite amusing, if true.

63630.  Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:52 am Reply with quote

Yes, these are "surrogate brands".

Cable Television Networks Rules, 1999,
According to Rule 7 (2)óno ad shall be permitted which promotes directly or indirectly, the sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants, infant milk substitution, feeding bottles or infant food.

Smirnoff has been rapped recently for showing adverts for its CD sideline.

The Kingfisher Water brand is mentioned here, which is a study on the Surrogate Advertising phenomonen.

Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan will star in two new television commercials for Kingfisher's bottled drinking water. The films have been directed by Oniruddha Sen of Illusion Films. Kingfisher, India's iconic beer brand has signed up the two on a one year contract. The association marks Kingfisher's return to cricket after a fairly long hiatus, and this probably is the England cricketers' first Indian brand play.

63642.  Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:03 am Reply with quote

Nice, egg - so, is "surrogate branding" an established ploy in advertising? I've not heard of it before, and find it rather qi. Perhaps we could show a (press picture?) of a Freddie billboard, clearly advertising water, and ask "What is he advertising?" - with water as the forfeit!

63644.  Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:10 am Reply with quote

I don't see it anywhere except India to be honest. I bet cigarette companies assumed they wouldn't be able to get away with it here.

If we couldn't get the picture, we could go the other way

Question: "What does Andrew Flintoff advertise in India?"

Forfeit: Lager, Chicken Vindaloo

Answer: Mineral Water.

63649.  Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:39 am Reply with quote

Yes, that'd work, wouldn't it? Over a big pic of Freddie looking as un-mineral-water-like as possible; drunk during the Ashes celebrations, perhaps.

63655.  Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:06 am Reply with quote

Nice. Might fit into a 'decoys' train of thought, as well.


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