Networks Attack Aquafina, It's 'Just Tap Water'

July 30th, 2007 4:23 PM

“Don’t let that scenic [Aquafina] logo fool you, this water is not bottled from a mountain stream,” said Rob Marciano CNN’s “American Morning.”

Aquafina, the country's best-selling brand of bottled water, was portrayed as shamefully dishonest by "CBS Evening News," "NBC Nightly News," ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" on July 27. And by the July 30 "American Morning."

PepsiCo, the bottler of Aquafina, was under attack the day it announced labeling changes for the product from "P.W.S." to "Public Water Source."

CBS’s Richard Schlessinger reported on July 27 that it’s “just tap water.”

But that isn't exactly correct. While the water does come from a tap, the water is purified through multi-step process before being packaged and sold.

Still, the networks made it sound like consumers had been hoodwinked. "American Morning" actually quoted a consumer who said she felt "bamboozled."

“Aquafina. It sounds so nice, so refined, so special. You might think this biggest selling brand of bottled water must come from some place special. Well, today we found out it doesn’t,” said “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric.

The media downplayed the radical advocacy group that claim they forced PepsiCo into making the changes: Corporate Accountability International (CAI).

One look at the CAI Web site and its strident anti-corporate goals are clear. The group, which supports “international social justice,” fights against many companies including Phillip Morris, Wal-Mart, and Halliburton. CAI also counts Greenpeace, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Wake-Up Wal-Mart and other groups among its allies.

But you didn't hear that from the networks.

CAI also contends the bottled water industry is attempting to control water sources as “simply another opportunity to profit.”

Previous news broadcasts have blamed bottled water for contributing to global warming and cluttering landfills despite its 100 percent recyclable packaging.