- How the Bottled Water Industry Works
- How Much Lying is Too Much Lying?
- Do People Have Unlimited Rights As Long as They Are Involved in Commerce?
- Jennifer Aniston
- More Accurate Billboards
I was driving and saw a billboard for SmartWater with Jennifer Aniston on it. The caption read
“Because it’s designed smarter.”
I immediately thought “what idiocy.”
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Water = H20, and does not require any human design component. The argument that they are designing water is the following:
- It is distilled (this means its vaporized and then condensed, however, unless you have dirty water this is unnecessary and a filter should do the job to pull out impurities)
- They added electrolytes (this is a fancy way of saying they added any of the following sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl−), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3−). However, this is also unnecessary unless one is doing endurance sports where these substances become depleted, and the water is not marketed to the endurance set).
How the Bottled Water Industry Works
Water companies pull their water from the ground by obtaining water rights without paying much of anything for them. Water companies like Nestle go into communities and tap local water sources that are meant for local use, essentially steal the water by influencing local politicians with donations. Their margins are overwhelming, but when asked to pay more, they respond that if they did that they would have to close up shop. A strange statement considering they pay a cent for the water in a bottle which is sold to the consumer for $2, and something less than that to the retailer. Of course, water mining operations like this have an even easier time merely paying off public officials in other countries.
“In India, where it (Coke) has been accused of contaminating dwindling resources of drinkable water. Officials estimate that in the state of Rajasthan alone people in more than fifty villages are facing acute water shortage allegedly due to Coca-Cola operations, and that water levels have dropped up to 10 meters since the company started its operations in 2001.” (this was back in 2005)) – The Book: Appetite for Profit
They then, at great energy cost, put the water in bottles (now distill it for no reason taking more additional energy) and truck it to a market. The consumer uses energy to transport it back to their houses. They then throw the bottles away, causing unnecessary trash (the bottles are made out of petroleum). If one wants water, the perfect way to obtain it is anywhere…..from any faucet, which is provided by a low energy method of water distribution called the city or county water system. If further cleaning is necessary, a filter can be applied.
Here are the ads that I saw. There were two of them very prominently displayed in a fashionable part of town. (this along with the minimalist design of the ads tells me that SmartWater is being targeted to well-off consumers. How less well-off consumers obtain their water is unknown to me, but I suspect it may be from a faucet.)
The ads imply either I might have a chance to date Jennifer Aniston, or women may be able to look like Jennifer Aniston if we drink SmartWater, but both of these propositions are unlikely. First of all, I think she is seeing someone already, and it not mathematically possible for Jennifer Aniston to date every person who drinks SmartWater as she has a busy schedule. As for looking like her, women of the world need to be aware that there is more to Jennifer Aniston’s appearance than merely drinking SmartWater.
First of all, she spends a lot of money on cosmetics, has a good exercise regiment and its a ton of money to color hair that way. Furthermore, part of Jennifer Aniston’s appearance may have something to do with her genetics.
How Much Lying is Too Much Lying?
This is always a very difficult question for companies to answer, and usually, requires the creation of a committee of some sort. Typically, the answer is “as much as we can get away with.”
I have to say; it is not like the lying is hard to catch. There is no pharmaceutical to analyzing or clinical trial to read. The gall of marketing people at SmartWater is amazing. They either live in a fantasyland themselves and don’t know much about what water is composed of, or assume their consumers are so stupid that they can be convinced that water must be improved on and put in a bottle and that it is “smart.” However, this is the really sad part, SmartWater is a very well selling bottled water.
To me, this type of thing should just be illegal. Companies have a right to sell things make a positive contribution, not that consume enormous quantities of energy and consume countless plastic bottles for no reason. The counterargument is that companies have a “right” to do this because of its part of the free enterprise system. Loosely translated they are saying they have a right to lie about even the physical properties of the known world (i.e., the design of water) and to create a need and take advantage of people who unknowledgeable and or young or simply have weak thinking skills. (BTW, not everyone is in the same place mentally. If I were 17 I might have bought SmartWater, and at 17 I was also deserving of public health protection as other people are now)
Do People Have Unlimited Rights As Long as They Are Involved in Commerce?
This is the deadly flaw with painting every activity with the brush of capitalism. Nothing in capitalism says that companies have the rights to do this. Companies simply declare this right. Companies do not even hypothetically have unlimited rights. Companies can be controlled by overall policy, and from health, environment, etc.. policy perspective SmartWater makes no sense. Also if rules are not put in place, companies will only lie to people, produce nothing and then take their money. This is a factor across the food industry with companies like Kraft selling the absolute lowest cost and quality food components in the highest processed way at the highest margin using the most fashionable cartoon characters to sell these items to the least aware consumers (kids).
Did we as a society agree that is necessary that large multinational companies become wealthy by lying to people because I don’t recall that being discussed or having a chance to vote on that?
So its clear that SmartWater (or Glaceau, the company that makes SmartWater) has no principles. However, what about Jennifer Aniston? That fact the Jennifer Aniston, who is enormously well paid in her movies, sees fit to take more money to be part of a campaign to sell nothing essentially to people says bad things about her character and her high level of greed. Precisely what monkey is on Jennifer Aniston’s back that makes it necessary for her to be paid to help Glaceau lie to people about water?
More Accurate Billboards
The SmartWater billboards leave a lot of important information out. In fact, some of the most important information is not on the billboards at all for some reason. So to help them, I have created my billboards below. If I had more money, say from lying to the entire population about “designing water,” I would be able to afford to place them up in trendy areas as SmartWater has.
Alas, my lack of lying has dramatically limited my income, so I will only be able to show them here.