With bottled water sales falling (fast) worldwide, the bottled water industry is reacting, though none more actively than Nestle Waters of North America.
A lengthy article written by the Polaris Institute outlines the industry’s response, which range from increased advertising, PR/lobbying onslaughts, attacks on the quality of public water and legal bullying (yes, even spying).
We documented the interview where Nestle’s CEO Kim Jeffries finally did what the bottled water industry won’t admit it does; cast doubt on the quality of public water supplies, playing the “Fear” card.
What to see what else is happening?
These are desperate times indeed for bottled water companies. Some industry analysts are already predicting the sell off of bottled water assets by Groupe Danone while Nestlé has publicly announced that it is slashing investment in their bottled water brands. However, these difficult times do not mean that these companies are giving up. On the contrary, in the case of Nestlé the company is resorting to facing the bottled water backlash head on through advertising and other, more aggressive means.
To deal with this well organized backlash Nestlé Waters North America has not resorted to the ‘ethical marketing’ angle, instead it has ‘gone negative’ by disparaging tap water, using television ads and newspaper advertisements, threatening lawsuits, aggressively lobbying city councillors and employing public relations and communications firms to push their narrative into the media. Looking at Nestlé’s track record will show that this company and the industry in general, is desperately trying to hold onto their bottled water customers.
We invite you to read the entire article, which includes an engrossing reference to Nestle’s apparent hiring of a “security” firm to infiltrate a Swiss-based group of activists.
Not to be missed.