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Jun 25, 2012

Coca Cola Targets SodaStream's Cage For Legal Action

SodaStream is one of the Israeli companies regularly targetted by BDS proponents and supporters. SoaStream is a small beverages company specializing in allowing the consumer to carbonate his own water and flavoring it with a variety of syrups.

SodaStream is typically used by people looking to drink soda pops that are healthier than the mass-produced brands, people who are concerned about the environment, and people looking to drink soda pop  while saving money, among others.

Not only does SodaStream have to worry about the BDS movement, but now they have to worry about a lawsuit from soft-drink giant Coca Cola.

SodaStream has been running an awareness program that they call "The Cage". They take a cage and fill it with empty soda pop bottles and place it in busy areas. They place on the cage a sign detailing different combinations of information, including how many bottles are in the cage, how long this garbage would take to decompose, how many bottles are used yearly by the average family and how much is recycled.
Coca Cola is upset that The Cage contains Coca Cola (and Fanta and Sprite, etc) bottles in it. they are claiming misuse of its trademark.

Obviously, you cannot really see Coca Cola bottles prominently. it is just a mass of empty bottles. Coca Cola bottles do not stand out any more or less than the bottles of any other company. The garbage was all taken from landfills for this project.

All was quiet until SodaStream recently took their Cage to the airport in South Africa. When they did, Coca Cola gave them all the publicity they could ever dream for, sending them cease and desist letters in order to have the display removed.

SodaStream Cage located in Yankee Stadium

SodaStream Alternative Consumer Go Green
Speaking to Globes, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said, besides for the comment on the legal issues, "It doesn’t really matter whose garbage it is," he says. "If Coca-Cola wants to contend that the garbage belongs to it, that will only help us. I want that to happen, for Coca-Cola to take responsibility for the garbage it produces worldwide every day." and also had this exchange:

You're not under pressure?"
Not at all. I won't fold and I'm not afraid. I won't lie and I'm not a thief. I'm merely saying the truth, and I hope that the world will realize this."
Birnbaum says that he is just getting started. "We didn’t start this war," he says. "The Cage is not only directed against Coca-Cola. There are a lot of other companies that could have been annoyed by it, but weren’t. The displays have been making the rounds for two years, and I don’t understand why only now tensions have arisen with Coca-Cola and because of the display in South Africa."
Can you hazard a guess?
"I don’t know. Maybe because in South Africa it's easier to protect trademarks. In general, this is a social question, not a legal one, and that's why we don’t care whether or not we'll have to remove the display or not."
You're not worried that other companies, such as PepsiCo, might follow in Coca-Cola's suit?"
I doubt it. PepsiCo is sitting quietly and hiding behind this story. It's a shame to be on the side of these polluters. A shame and a disgrace! They're doing nothing to currect the environmental damage."
SodaStream is an Israeli company and is finding innovative ways to bring attention to its product. According to this, the display is in a small corner of the SA airport, and most likely it would have gone largely unnoticed to the majority of people passing through the airport. It is Coca Cola's campaign that is drawing much attention to SodaStream.

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1 comment:

  1. Technically, Sodastream is ok unless Coca Cola wants to claim responsibility of all their trash. They would never do that unless they want to clean billions of bottles a year. Since Sodastream is only using to advertise in public and not on TV, Coke can't do anything about it.

    In fact, the Coke HQ in the US would have never sued them, as all it did is give Sodastream more pubilcity than it ever could have bought. Though sodastream is still a little flea compared to coke, as they have a $700m market value compared to cokes $170b.

    I'm happy to have bought some SODA before this whole stunt blew up.


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