A front group for the UK bottled water industry, "which is perceived to be expensive and environmentally unsound," signed a "six-figure" contract with the public relations firm Munro & Forster. The Natural Hydration Council was "set up by Nestle Waters, Highland Spring and Danone Waters last September." Its new PR firm "will attempt to stop bottled water being compared with tap water," reports PR Week. Natural Hydration Council director Jeremy Clarke claims that the recent decline in bottled water sales doesn't mean more people are drinking tap water. "Rather, they were turning to obesity-causing soft drinks, he argued." Munro & Foster will try "re-educating consumers about the benefit of drinking water, as Clarke argued consumers had become 'fuzzy' about what they should be drinking. Further, the agency will handle stakeholder engagement, reaching out to the Government and environmental groups, and lobbying the health community." British media have run negative articles about bottled water, under headlines like "Bottled water is an eco no-no" and "Bottled water is immoral."
By Diane Farsetta on April 20, 2009